Sports

Singaporean, 12, wins karting race in Europe

Christian becomes the first Asian to win a race in German Karting Championship series, whose former winners include Schumacher and Vettel

He is just 12, but Christian Ho has already experienced what it's like to win a karting race in Europe.

On Sunday, the Singaporean junior racer clinched the Belgium leg of the Deutsche Kart Meisterschaft (DKM) German Karting Championship in Genk, becoming the first Asian driver to do so.

The DKM is one of the biggest karting series in Europe, and counts racing greats such as Michael Schumacher, Sebastian Vettel and Robert Kubica as former winners.

Representing Ricky Flynn Motorsport, Christian topped the qualifiers and the two final races, finishing ahead of his rivals from Europe and the United States.

He clocked 13min 51.042sec and 13:50.398 in the final races, pipping second-placed Dutch youngster Robert de Haan, the overall leader of the five-leg series, by 0.363sec and 1.706sec respectively.

Said Christian: "It was a perfect weekend for me and I'm incredibly proud to be the first ever Singaporean to win a race in the DKM German Karting Championship series.

"I could not have done it without the support from my family and the Ricky Flynn Motorsport Karting team.

"The win is a major milestone in my karting career and I look to carry the momentum into the rest of the 2019 season."

This was not Christian's first podium finish at the DKM.

During the Italian leg in Lonato in April, he finished second and third out of 198 drivers in the two final races, becoming the first Asian to secure a podium spot at this event.

Earlier in February, he also became the first Singaporean to win a heat at the World Series Karting Super Masters Series in Adria, Italy, eventually finishing the weekend as the highest-ranked Asian driver.

The series of wins has vindicated his parents' decision to move to Italian city Milan last year to help their son in his pursuit of a full-time racing career.

He then moved up to the junior category and achieved success at his debut race in the bigger and faster junior karts by finishing first in qualifying at the X30 South East Asia event in Sepang, Malaysia.

EARNED HIS PLACE

By the end of last year, Christian had earned a place in the elite Ricky Flynn Motorsport Karting Team, who count current Formula One driver Lando Norris as part of their alumni.

Christian, who fell in love with karting while on a family holiday in Phuket, at the age of seven, will be hoping to achieve more success at his next meet - the World Championship in Finland from Sept 4-8.

"It is challenging to compete at the international level, but I hope that my victory inspires other young Singaporeans to believe in themselves and to pursue their dreams," he said.

MOTORSPORTS