Young karter lapping it up
Motorsport is in young Kiahn Burt’s blood.
His dad Richard is a leading jet sprint driver. Mum Rachel is a diehard motorsport fan. Grandad Roger Maunder is part of the team supporting the 8-year-old karting prodigy who is turning heads on lower North Island circuits.
Over Labour Weekend, Kiahn won the KartSport NZ North Island cadet class in Hawke’s Bay, one of the youngest, if not the youngest to win the title.
‘‘He won the final by 11 seconds,’’ Richard Burt said.
To put that in perspective, these youngsters take 36 seconds to whip once around the track.
‘‘And he did it in the wet. He likes wet tracks. He calls himself the Rainmaster, the same as Shane van Gisbergen,’’ Burt said.
However, at this stage the young racer is not interested in V-8 Supercars.
‘‘The ultimate dream would be getting Ferrari to sponsor me in Formula-1,’’ Kiahn said.
Watch your back, Lewis Hamilton.
Kiahn was 6 when he got the racing bug.
‘‘My friend Ryan Wood did karting and I went down do watch him, and I thought I’d like to do that, and I asked my mum if I could drive one.’’
Ryan is an up-and-coming Wellington racer now in KartSport New Zealand’s junior class.
Mum must have seen the light in his eyes, because despite the cadet class being for ages 7 - 11, Kiahn was able to start racing in an 83kmh, 65cc Kiwikart at 6 years.
On his way to the title, Kiahn has claimed plenty of other milestones as one of the youngest drivers in his class. It’s not been without the odd crash along the way, including one where he flipped the kart during a race and was ferried off to hospital.
Nothing was broken, and after an eight-week stand down, Kiahn was back behind the wheel.
‘‘He works very hard to be the best at everything he does. It’s amazing for someone his age to be as focused - driving a 28-lap race without faltering. It’s a huge physical strain as well,’’ Rachel Burt said.
His focus now is on competing at the nationals in Invercargill over Easter in 2017, studying videos of the Southland track.
And there will soon be some karting competition at home. Kiahn’s brother Zander is not far off turning 6.
Young karter Kiahn Burt, 8, is a whiz behind the wheel.