Young karting star Luca Kane Houghton has made good progress in the qualifying round and first two heats of the FIA Karting Academy Trophy being held in Genk, Belgium, his mother said.
“Luca qualified fourth in his group, and eighth overall, in the qualifying round on Friday,” Cindy Kramer, who has accompanied her 13-year-old son to the championship, told the GDN on phone from Genk yesterday. “Today, he started in fourth position in his first heat and finished in P5. In the second heat, he finished in P4.”
The race for the championship will be held in the afternoon today, three hours after the last heat takes place, she added.
“I’m satisfied with my performance yesterday and today,” Luca told the GDN. “It’s a tough field but I’m still pretty confident that I can win the championship.
The teenager, who was born in the kingdom to Kramer, who is Dutch, and dad, Kane, an Australian, is representing Bahrain – as he has in various championships that he has competed in since taking up the sport five years ago, at the age of eight.
The FIA Karting Academy Trophy’s 2022 edition features 54 contestants – all aged between 12 and 14 – from around the world. The event was first held in 2010 and current F1 drivers Charles Leclerc, George Russell and Esteban Ocon are past participants. Leclerc, in fact, won the championship in 2011.
“It’s a tough race, to be sure,” Kramer said. “Four of the boys in his heat are more experienced. But Luca held his own and did very well.”
Luca, who is extremely articulate and mature beyond his young age, acknowledged the tough competition he was up against but added he wasn’t feeling nervous in the build-up to what could be a career-defining race for him today.
“I’m not nervous at all, no,” he declared. “I think that the best thing to do, especially during a race, is to stay calm and remain focused. That’s how I feel right now and that’s what I’ll do tomorrow.”
Luca added that the fact that there would be only a three-hour gap between the end of the last heat and the start of the big race didn’t bother him at all.
“To be honest, once you come out of the heat, you’re fine, there’s no stress,” he explained. “Like I said, it’s all about remaining calm. My aim is to remain focused and win the championship for Bahrain!”