Meet SA’s youngest racing champion!
They say that karting will build our future champions and that the younger they start, the better they will be. With a little talent to start, of course.
Just look at the youngsters tearing up the track out there - Max Verstappen won his first F1 race at just 18, Sheldon van der Linde is a double SA Polo Cup champion at 17 and Giordano Lupini is beating men twice his age at 16 — they are of course all ex karters — as are nearly all competitive racers these days.
And little Mohammed Moerat has won a karting championship at six! Yes, you read that right — the Hartford College Grade R pre-primary kid from Winchester Hills in the south of Jozi is in fact a quadruple champion at six, if you add his African Open Cadet gong from last year, the 2016 Rand and Vereeniging Cadet Club titles and Gauteng’s Northern Regions Cadet championship he won two weeks back.
That NR crown was no mean feat either — Mohammed fought back from behind to win that Gauteng title after winning all seven of the first half of the season’s twelve heats. The second half started well too, but Mohammed hit a few troubles and scored a few dot races to cut his advantage and see him head into the Vereeniging finale behind arch rival Judd Betholdt on points.
Yet despite a tough first heat, a third and a win in the finale were enough to clinch it — by just 7 points from Judd, with the charging Moosa Kajee ending up a single point behind Bertholdt. “That was such a tough end of the season,” Mohammed admitted. “The championship was not over until the last lap of the last race, but I won and now I’m champion!” Remember, Little Mo is just six years old!
Mohammed Raees Moerat was put in a kart for the first time at the tender age of four years old and he took to the track like a fish to water. Challenging boys twice his age during practice, Mohammed’s promise was soon clear — he won his first race at 5 years and 2 months old to provide his folks with a clear signal that they had something special on their hands.
“I love racing and I love to win — my racing heroes are Max Verstappen and Sebastian Vettel — they won from very young and I am doing the same — so if they can do it, so can I. “We will be racing a bigger kart in the new Micro Max class next year and it will be the first time a kid younger than 8 will be able to win a national championship. “Bring it on!”