Local young drivers progress from Kart Racing to Circuit Racing

Local young drivers progress from Kart Racing to Circuit Racing

Kart Racing is usually the training ground of most drivers before they compete in other motorsport disciplines. The Trinidad & Tobago Karting Association (TTKA) has been grooming local drivers from a young age for decades. Many local champion drivers who now compete at a national, regional and international level have started their racing careers in kart racing.

In 2021 the TTKA & TTASA have come together once again to help young drivers make the progress from Kart racing to Circuit racing but this time in an all new series. The upcoming TTASA Caribbean Spec Miata Series (CSMS) will see drivers make the step up. President of the TTKA Ronald Wortman says the club is proud to announce that 5 young racers have progressed to TTASA circuit racing thanks to the new affordable Miata entry level class.

What does the new class entail? The concept is to have stock class with all cars having the same specs, having an equal car that comes down to the driver. Currently there are 12 in the country and all 2nd generation Mazda Miata’s that came from England with the same set up. The cars will run alongside other TTASA classes with 6 proposed events in 2021, depending on Covid-19 protocols. With other seasoned drivers in the class no doubt it will be a great learning experience for them all. You can read more about it here.

The 6 kart racing drivers progressing to circuit racing are: Rossi Lochan, Justin & Scott Wortman, Brent Russel & Matthew Singh.

Here is what each of them had to say about making the step up:

Justin Wortman

20 year old Justin Wortman is the eldest son of seasoned regional circuit racing champion Ronald Wortman. Justin started kart racing when he was 17 and after just three years he decided to step up to car racing. Initially, Justin thought of building a GP1 entry level race car to compete in the TTASA Circuit Racing Championship. The Spec Miata Series turned that talk into a reality and he believes this class of racing should be the next step for all kart racers. When asked what his most memorable moment in his racing career, Wortman replied “I can’t remember the exact race day, but definitely the time Ryan Peyrau and myself were ahead of the pack and went head to head for the last couple laps of the race. Aiming high from the start, he hopes to bring home the championship in the upcoming Miata series.

Scott Wortman

Justin’s younger brother Scott is 18 and also started with his brother in 2017. Having won two consecutive Kart Racing titles and a place on the podium for all three championships he’s competed in, Scott feels confident that the skills he has learned from kart racing will give him the ability to excel in the Spec Miata Cup. A very self-assured young Wortman said “my first win at the Arima Race Club Karting track (ARC), that gave me confidence which i took to the following season which I won and I was selected by TTASA, the FIA ASN as Trinidad’s best young driver. I traveled to The FIA Americas awards ceremony in Uruguay to collect this trophy.”. 

Keeping up that assuredness, Scott says “I plan to dominate behind the wheel of a car just like I did in go karts. I want to be a national circuit champion and regional champion like my father.”

Rossi Lochan

The youngest kart driver to progress to circuit racing via the Spec Miata Series is Maccarius “Rossi” Lochan at just 14 years old. the son of local Rally legend Ainsley Lochan, Rossi started karting racing when he was 6. Young Lochan knew he would progress to circuit racing or rallying eventually, but said the Spec Miata Series sped the time up, offering him an opportunity to pilot a car. Being the youngest driver in the upcoming series, he is really looking forward to the challenge. Rossi was the T&T National Kart Racing Cadet Champion in 2016 and moved up in class as the 2020 Sportsman Champion last year. He hopes to represent T&T internationally in any class or type of car racing.

Matthew Singh

22 year old Matthew Singh started formally racing go karts in 2015 and has since won two of the TTKA’s T&T National Kart Racing Championships. After 5 years, Matthew said he wanted to try something new and the Spec Miata Series seems like the right fit. “I’m just here to have fun and do my best” Singh said.

Shane Sheppard

Shane Sheppard is the son of T&T national rally driver Scott Sheppard. Currently 18 years old, Shane started kart racing at the age of 14 under the guidance of his dad. Young Sheppard was the Championship runner up in just his first year in and has copped 3 straight championship wins since in his class. Shane says “moving up to circuit racing is the next step in driving development and the Spec Miata is a great entry level class. The series is affordable and exciting as its rear wheel drive.”. He is looking to gain more experience by racing circuit cars and will take it one step at a time at this point.

Brent Russell

Brent Russell started racing 16 years ago. He is now 34 and won awards in multiple motorsport disciplines including 2nd in class at Rally Trinidad 2015 and Most Improved Driver in the TTKA National Karting Championship in 2019. Almost a veteran racer when compared to the other youngsters, Brent says that it was a combination of him doing well in karting as well as the thrill and competitiveness of the Spec Miata Series as the main factors that made him choose to start circuit racing. He went on to say “I plan to eventually enter another discipline, hopefully Rally, which is my favourite, or drifting. My goal is to be Driver Champion in both Circuit and Karting.”

Without a doubt, the enthusiasm of these young drivers is high. The entire motor racing fraternity looks forward to seeing them progress through the various classes of circuit racing and perhaps try their chops at other racing disciplines in the near future.

Spec Miata Racing Series

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