Kart Racing: Is Berkeley driver Maximus Hall, 6, the next Lewis Hamilton?
A SIX-YEAR-OLD kart racing driver from Berkeley is already following in the tyre tracks of Formula One world champions Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button.
Maximus Hall has become the youngest ever person to win the British Open Championship, known as the O plate, in the six to eight-year-old category and has joined Soixante Racing, who built the engines for Mercedes driver Hamilton and Force India’s Paul Di Resta when they were youngsters.
He joined an illustrious list of names including Hamilton, Button and two-time British Touring Car champion Jason Plato by winning the Open – a one-off race in Cumbria for the top 20 drivers in the country.
His father Matt Hall was also a successful kart racing driver at junior and senior level, where he raced against Button and beat Hamilton on a few occasions, and believes his son’s talent at such a young age suggests he is capable of going all the way.
“When I did it I never thought about Formula One, but now having seen people like Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton I wish I thought differently,” said Matt.
“He’s already had an amazing result and has only been doing it for seven months.”
Hall started using his kart when he was four years old at an indoor circuit but couldn’t race competitively until he turned six earlier this year.
He started racing in the Bambino Kart Club National Championship and finished second in his first race at Hooton Park in June.
The Sharpness Primary School pupil then triumphed in his second race at Glan y Gors Park in Wales to take the title of Dragon Master and won two more races.
Despite missing the first three races and having faulty tyres in another double race, Hall finished fifth in the Championship.
Alerted by his talent, Soixante have agreed to build his engines next year and have made him their lead driver.
Leon Lerego, Soixante team owner, said: “Right from the start Maximus has been showing signs of inspiration and has got better and better. His dad and grandad have put a lot of effort into him.
“They all want to be Formula One drivers but he’s got all the attributes.”
The Hall family have a proud history in kart racing as Matt’s father Stephen was also a seeded driver in the British Championship five times.
Matt, 30, won various club championships, the driver of the year award for the TKM British Championship in 1996 and was consistently one of the top 15 drivers in the country, with a highest finish of third in the country as a junior.
His disappointment of missing out on the prestigious Open Championship trophy was made up for by his son’s triumph.
“When I was racing I didn’t get nervous because I didn’t have time, but watching him is the most intense thing I’ve ever been involved with,” said Matt.
“When he won it was a flood of emotions. His grandad and I were going crazy.”
As part of his prize for winning the Open Championship, Maximus will receive one-to-one tuition from a Formula One driving coach next year.
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