SINGAPORE — Singapore junior racer Christian Ho became the youngest race winner of the International Automobile Federation (FIA) Karting Academy Trophy, after he won the last leg of the prestigious karting series in Lonato, Italy, on Sunday (22 September).
He accomplished the feat at the age of just 12 years and 10 months old, and is also the first-ever Asian race winner.
Overall runner-up for series
He finished the series as overall runner-up out of 51 participants, with 46 points from three legs. Lithuania’s Kajus Siksnelis was the overall winner with 58 points, while the Netherlands’ Robert de Haan was third, just a point behind Ho.
“I’m really proud that I was able to represent Singapore and take home the win on the same weekend of the Formula One Singapore Grand Prix. It’s my dream to be able to stand at the top of that podium one day and this weekend’s win was a positive step in the right direction,” said Ho.
“I also want to thank everyone who has supported and believed in me from the beginning. I’m glad that all the hard work and sacrifice has paid off.”
During the race weekend, Ho won all three heats in Lonato and started in pole position. He maintained his lead all the way to the checkered flag in the final, finishing more than six seconds ahead Siksnelis.
Ho also clocked the fastest lap in the final with a time of 50.366 seconds.
Global championship with notable alumni
The FIA Karting Academy Trophy is a global championship organised by the International Karting Commission (CIK-FIA), aimed at training and unearthing young talents between the ages of 12 and 14.
The drivers are nominated by their national motorsport associations to represent their country in the championship, and compete on identical OK-Junior karts supplied by the CIK-FIA.
Notable alumni from the championship include Formula One drivers like Charles Leclerc, George Russell and Esteban Ocon.
As runner-up of the series, Ho will represent Singapore in November’s FIA Prize Giving Gala in Paris, where winners of various race disciplines – including F1 – will receive their respective honours.
He will next race in the last round of the Deutsche Kart Meisterschaft (DKM) Karting Series in Ampfing, Germany from 4 to 6 October. He had won a race in the series in August, and is currently ranked second.