Singapore’s latest motor racing sensation, Christian Ho, who has been making waves in Europe, started the first official Junior race of his career on a high note at the X30 SEA 2018 in Sepang over the weekend.
The 11-year-old boy, the second youngest in the field, proved his talent on the track when he obtained Pole Position during Qualifying and was given the Fastest Lap award after clocking the fastest lap of the weekend.
Christian went into the race weekend competing against older and more experienced drivers, couple of whom are among the Top 30 drivers in the world. However, no challenge was too great for the school boy as he proceeded to impress everybody during the race with his raw speed.
Heading into the pre-final in 3rd position, Christian fought his way through the grid and managed to steal the lead for two laps before his lack of fitness and experience in this category lost him the lead. The 11-year-old went into the Final in 8th position after being given a penalty. Undaunted, Christian kept in with the other drivers and eventually finished 7th out of 18 drivers in the Final, with only two seconds separating him from the eventual winner.
“I am surprised by his speed in the Junior category. I have coached and seen many drivers and he is one of the rare drivers that seem to be able to adapt to the bigger and faster Junior chassis almost instantly. Trust me, it is a huge jump from the Mini category (up to 12 years old) to the Junior category (12 to 14 years old),” said Felice Tiene, Christian’s coach and a former double World Karting Champion.
“I’m happy with my results for my first Junior race. It is quite surreal for me. Last weekend, I was still racing in the Mini category and I went into last weekend’s races with just two days of training in the Junior category. I made a couple of mistakes and my lack of fitness cost me but it’s good learning for me. I will head back to Europe with the confidence that I am ready for the Junior category and knowing I can compete amongst the older and more experienced drivers,” said Christian.
It is this determination that had his parents make the difficult decision of sending their only son overseas to pursue his career in motor racing. Based in Milan, Italy, Christian has strong support and a mentor in his coach, Tiene. Since his move in January this year, Christian has competed in more than eight races in the Mini category and is the top ranked Asian driver and among the Top 15 in the world for the Mini category.
Christian started karting for the first time in 2014 during a family holiday where his natural talent was spotted by a circuit owner. The following year, Christian obtained his racing license and began participating in races with his first competitive outing on the track in the Mini category at the X30 SEA 2015 in Singapore.
Within a year, Christian found himself taking part in close to 15 competitions, regularly finding himself in the Top 10 positions. He ended 2016 with his first podium finish in the Asian Karting Open Championship. Christian represents the I.S. Racing team in Asia and became the first Singaporean to win a heat/Prefinal/Final in the WSK Super Master Series in January this year, proving his steady rise in the karting world.
2018 will see Christian continue competing in races in Europe and the region, including DKM Wacker, X30 Bira, CIK-FIA European Championship and WSK Open Cup.