HARARE – Nine-year-old Zachary Dufty is set to write his own piece of history this month when he represents Zimbabwe at the Rok World Karting Finals that have been set for South Garda race track in Italy.
The Twin Rivers Primary School grade five pupil will be the youngest kart driver in Zimbabwe’s history to race at world championship level.
He will also be one of the youngest drivers competing at the International karting event, where over 300 competitors from 30 countries, will compete in five classes.
Zachary and his father, Kevin, who is also his race mechanic, are set to leave for Italy on October 10.
The father and son team will spend a few days practicing and testing at the South Garda Karting Circuit in the Italian town of Lonato del Garda as they prepare for the qualifiers, which start on October 16.
The qualifiers will be followed by the finals on October 19.
The Zimbabwe karting prodigy will compete in the MiniRok class, one of the three traditional junior categories.
The class is for nine to thirteen year olds.
He will be hoping his driver skills and split second decision making abilities will be at their best when he carries the hopes of Zimbabwe at the International karting event.
“I’m really looking forward to going to Italy for the race,” said the karting driver, who rose to prominence at the Harare Karting Club Cadets at the age of five.
“There will be lots of other drivers there from all over the world, and I hope to learn a lot from them.
“I would like to thank Motortorque and Transerv who have already come forward and helped us with sponsorship. I would also like to thank Harare Karting Club for all the support that they have shown us. I will do my best and will really focus on my starts as there will be so many karts all around me.”
Zachary’s mechanic and father, Kevin, said: “It will be hard work for me as the mechanic. For example, each evening I will have to remove the engine for checking by the engine supplier and then re-fit it in the morning before we can race.
“The setting up of the kart and practice sessions will be crucial to Zac getting a good drive for the qualifiers and in the races themselves.”
He added: “Of course, I also have to help Zac prepare psychologically for such an important race at an unfamiliar track.”
In Zimbabwe, MiniRoks and other classes of karts race at Donnybrook Raceway and at the Breedon Everard Race Track in Bulawayo, on a regular basis from February through until November.
MiniRok karts are capable of speeds of up to 100Km’s an hour.