Skip to content

Driver Database News

The latest news from the world of racing


Category: Karting

Gabby ChavesUp-and-coming motorsports star Gabby Chaves returned to his racing roots this past weekend (November 16-18), getting back behind the wheel of a kart via the 16th edition of the world renowned Superkarts! USA SuperNationals presented by MG Tires in Las Vegas, Nev. The highly-regarded Claro/Marca Colombia racer promptly showcased his talents in the TaG Senior class, besting multiple karting champions to capture a superb win on SuperSunday, further highlighting Chaves as a true racing talent.

Chaves, like many formula car drivers, first started his motorsports journey in the karting ranks, winning not only numerous race, but also championships before making the move up to car competition. While the 19-year-old’s focus since 2007 has been on working his way up the junior formula car ladder – capturing the 2006-07 Skip Barber Regional Southern Series championship, 2009 Formula BMW Americas title, 2010 Italian Formula 3 Championship Rookie of the Year award, and finishing second in Star Mazda Championship this year – he has always maintained close contacts within the karting ranks. As a result, upon completing of his race-winning season in the Star Mazda Championship, Chaves was asked by Keane Racing to reunite with his mentor and coach in karts, Daniel Villa, for the prestigious year-end SuperNationals. Well aware that this was a great opportunity to get back behind the wheel of a competitive kart, Chaves immediately said yes to the invitation.

Racing in the TaG Senior class, the former karting standout knew he would be going head-to-head against a very large and talented field – 90 racers were slated to take part – as well as be battling multiple champions, including the World Champion Charles Leclerc, European champion Denis Olsen, Australian champion David Sera, and soon to be crowned American champion Phil De La O.

The action on the temporary course in the parking lot of the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino commenced, as planned, with Chaves not only getting re-acclimated to high-level kart competition, but working with Villa to steadily develop his Tony Kart chassis for his driving style, the track layout, and conditions. Continually learning, Chaves was excited about his prospects entering the lone qualifying run, which would set his starting position for the three Heat races.

Chaves ultimately did not find the desired speed in Group 1 qualifying, the faster group, posting the 16th best time. Despite the result, the FIA Institute Young Driver Excellence Academy racer was confident he could work his way forward in the races.

With an eye towards getting quality finishes in all three Heat races, as the combined results would set the grid for the SuperSunday finale, Chaves got the ball rolling in the right direction in his opening race (Group A vs. Group D), avoiding the expected incidents and further improving his kart en route to a 12th place finish.

The talented racer, however, really began making his mark in Heat two (Group B vs. Group D), thanks a stellar drive to second place, following home the European champion.

With a strong follow-up sixth place finish in his final Heat race (Group C vs. Group D), Chaves secured a starting place among the leaders for the TaG Senior final at the 2013 SuperNationals.

As the first karts on track for SuperSunday at the SuperNats, Chaves did not have to wait long to showcase his talents in front of a large and enthusiastic crowd. Getting a great launch, the Keane Racing pilot was quickly part of lead pack, and looking for more. Mixing speed and aggression, Chaves was up to a sublime second place by lap 10 of the 25-lap affair. Within two laps he was in the lead thanks to well executed pass under braking. While he almost immediately relinquished the top spot, Chaves remained glued to rear of the new leader willing to bide his time and make his move later in the race. The opportunity came on lap 21, when he once again took over first place through another great overtaking maneuver. This time it was for good, as despite some heavy pressure in the final two tours, Chaves emerged with a spectacular win.

“It’s hard to describe how excited I am about winning,” stated Chaves. “We worked all week on going faster, and thanks to some fantastic work by my engineer Daniel [Villa] and the entire Keane Racing crew, I had great kart today. It’s a real honor to win at the SuperNationals, and a great way to end what has been very good season of racing.”

Chaves will now have a brief break, before resuming his duties as a FIA Institute Young Driver Excellence Academy racer and working on preparations for the 2013 race season.

Those interested in supporting Chaves’ charge towards a career in the upper echelon of motorsports are encouraged to contact Chaves and/or his management team.

Talented teenage kart racer Cyrus Engineer confirmed his position as one of motorsport’s hottest young prospects at Al Ain Raceway in the United Arab Emirates on Saturday, 14 th April, by winning the final round of the 2011/2012 UAE Rotax Junior Max Championship to become Vice-Champion.

Having marked himself out as one to watch since taking a memorable win on his championship debut last September, also at Al Ain, the Indian-born 13-year-old has been a consistent front-running threat and rounds-out the season with yet more silverware for his rapidly growing trophy cabinet.

Cyrus, younger brother of Formula Renault 2.0 Northern European Cup racer Shahaan, headed into Saturday’s Final in determined mood after a difficult Pre-Final where he had to stop midway through when the exhaust baffle on his Rotax Junior Max kart flew off.

Racing impressively to come out on top of the 18-lap Final with victory after a tight, four-way battle, the Dubai-based youngster also managed to post the fastest lap with a superb performance. With just a couple of years’ racing experience under his belt, this has undoubtedly been Cyrus’ strongest campaign yet and he is justly delighted to have ended the 12-round series as Vice-Champion.

“I was extremely focused this weekend with it being the last round of the season, I was determined to give it my very best and try and win”, he said, “The Final was tough and my rivals performed really well – it was one train right up to the chequered flag.

“I want to thank Kieran [Crawley] for giving me a great setup for the Final, it was perfect. Winning the race was great but to have the fastest lap time as well, and be Vice-Champion, is a fantastic way for me to end the season.”

With no racing taking place in the UAE now until September, in order to remain sharp and hone his skills further Cyrus is planning to contest several kart races in Europe over the coming months where schooling commitments at home in Dubai allow.

Kieran Crawley, team principal of renowned UK-based team M Sport which took Matthew Graham to the CIK-FIA Under 18 World Karting Championship title in 2011, currently looks after Cyrus’ racing programme in the UAE. Understandably, he was absolutely delighted with performance produced by his teenage protégé this past weekend at Al Ain.

“Cyrus did a fantastic job in the Final, he drove incredibly well and really did prove to us what he’s capable of”, said Crawley, “His pace was fantastic, he made plenty of great passes and was also able to defend perfectly when he got into the lead. I’m returning home to the UK very happy indeed!”

In little over two years, Cyrus Engineer has become a force to be reckoned with in the Middle East karting scene but he has already made his presence felt in Europe and the UK too. Debuting in 2009 at the world-famous Genk Circuit in Belgium, the then 10-year-old claimed a sensational podium finish driving for GKS Lemmens in the Micro-Max class of the Belgian Rotax Championship.

Keen to improve as quickly as possible, Cyrus joined forces with former CIK-FIA World Karting Champion Oliver Oakes for the following season and travelled to the UK where he raced in one of the toughest karting arenas anywhere on the globe.

Racing in Comer Cadets in the Formula One Management and Lewis Hamilton-backed Formula Kart Stars series, Cyrus also competed in the prestigious Super 1 Championship – the career springboard for current Grand Prix stars such as Jenson Button and Paul Di Resta.

At the end of 2010, having returned to the family home in Dubai, Cyrus graduated to the faster Junior Max karting category. Just as he managed on his very first outing in Belgium two years prior, he stood on the podium at his first attempt.

For all the latest information regarding Cyrus Engineer’s racing, please visit

The organisers of Karting for Heroes are thrilled to be able to announce that this years event will be supported by current Dunlop MSA Formula Ford Champion, 2011 BRSCC Formula Ford Festival Winner and recipient of the 2011 Henry Surtees Award, Essex driver Scott Malvern.

Scott’s attendance will provide a unique opportunity for teams to boost the money raised for Help for Heroes and give themselves a competitive edge. Prior to the race start, teams will be able to bid for Scott’s talent and for him to become one of their drivers for the day. Quite simply the team that puts in the highest bid in will have a current series champion and star of the future on their team. Scott said he was “delighted to be able to offer his services” to help Karting for Heroes boost the amount the event raises for Help for Heroes. Money will be raised from a combination of entry fees and an Auction to be held after the race and will help boost the £12,000 already raised by previous events.

The event is organised by Rochester based Hydraquip and is in the form of a three hour endurance race open to teams of 3+ drivers of all abilities at the Buckmore Park Circuit in Kent.
This year will be the third running of the event and will be held on Saturday 12th May 2012. Organiser Geoff Kelley said “We are extremely grateful to Scott giving his time and supporting our event, especially when the highest bidding team could possibly be the slowest. Which is obviously something he is not used to. The addition of such a successful driver will add to the prestige of the event and we expect the remaining team spaces to be filled quickly”.

It is possible to donate money for Help for Heores by using the following link:

Joshua CoertzeWith both the first rounds of the 2012 SA Eastern Cape Regional championship and the South African ROK Engen Supa Kart Nationals completed Joshua seems to be off to a good start for the season.

He clinched victory in the Regional/Club championship all 3 race heats in early February and got right back onto the race pace where he left off in the 2011 season and took a early 8 point lead in the 8 round championship.

During the National event hosted by his home circuit he managed to set the quickest time for the day in the last practice session and during official practice on race day he set what officials recon could be a new course record for his class. This still needs to be confirmed. Due to mechanical problems during two of the races he could only manage one win in race two with 2nd and 3rd place finishes for the other two race heats. This meant a well deserved 2nd placing for the event trailing the leader with 5 points for the start of the season.

If the win in the second race is anything to go by he showed that he’ll be a serious contender for the podium at the remaining 3 rounds of the Engen Supa Kart series, should the mechanical problems be eliminated. The lead was swapped several times in this race but he showed great patience and snatched the victory by a late move up the inside in the last corner of the race to take the chequered flag.

We wish to thank you to our sponsors Protec Group and Fuchs Lubricants SA for your continued support and also special thanks to South African based Brights Motorsport and team RKT/Zanardi for your support on and off the track.

Cyrus Engineer13 year old Cyrus Engineer won round five of the AARKC Rotax Junior max UAE championship and round three of the DAMC karting championships which took place at Dubai’s premier karting venue, the Dubai Kartdrome on Friday 20th January 2012 when the season resumed for the new year.

Dubai Tracktalk officials noted – “The Junior Max class is proving to be a hotbed of very close action with at least half a dozen drivers capable of victory, but Cyrus Engineer took top honours in the Final.”

Qualifying 3rd overall – following an extremely close timed practice session in which he missed out on pole position by mere hundredths of a second – the young Zanardi pilot saw his mettle tested with some bad luck during the heats and Pre-Final. Undeterred, the 13-year old remained focused on taking victory by 6 seconds, when it really mattered – in the Final.

Cyrus said of his win, “It was close all day. There was very little between us with many drivers on the pace, but in the end I stuck to my game plan and made all the right moves. I am very happy to win the final.”

Round 6 of the ten round AARKC championship will be held in early February at Al Ain International Raceway, home of the 2011 Rotax Grand finals. Keep up to speed with Cyrus and his karting career at

Seb Morris leading Jenson ButtonSeb Morris, 2011 Ginetta Junior Champion and WRDA Welsh Young Driver of the Year, has spoken of the “great privilege” of taking part in the recent Dan Wheldon Memorial Kart Race – an event set-up in remembrance of the former IndyCar Series Champion and double Indianapolis 500 winner.

Wheldon, who tragically lost his life in a racing accident at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in October, was undoubtedly one of Britain’s most successful and talented drivers and the fund-raising kart race at Daytona in Milton Keynes earlier this month proved the perfect way for the motorsport world to pay tribute.

Marford-based Seb joined some of the globe’s top racing stars, including 2009 FIA Formula One World Champion Jenson Button, multiple IndyCar Champion and Indy 500 Winner Dario Franchitti and former Grand Prix stars David Coulthard, Johnny Herbert and Anthony Davidson.

Coupled with the honour of taking part in the memorial event, 16-year-old Seb also enjoyed the highlight of racing wheel-to-wheel with Vodafone McLaren-Mercedes star Button…before going on to overtake his Grand Prix hero during his stint on the track in the team event. Clearly, the move will remain one of The King’s School, Chester pupil’s sporting highlights for a long time to come!

“First and foremost, it was a real honour and a great privilege to be part of the Dan Wheldon Memorial Kart Race – he was one of the best drivers on the planet, a real gentleman and a true inspiration to young racers like me”, said Seb, “It was fantastic so many huge names from the top of the sport took part in the race, it was an amazing event and the perfect way to celebrate his life.

“Racing on track with Jenson (Button) was something I never thought I’d do, to overtake him was incredible – my mum has it on video so I’ll be remembering that for a long time! I was ahead of him at the start but he got by, although I managed to get back past before I had to hand the kart over at the end of my stint. It was a really enjoyable race for a truly fantastic cause.”

Organised by international racing star Johnny Mowlem, a close personal friend of Wheldon, the kart spectacular raised an outstanding £17,000 for the Alzheimer’s Society – the Wheldon family’s charity of choice.

After a hugely successful 2011, which brought his second car racing title in as many seasons, Seb is now looking ahead to making his competitive single-seater debut in 2012 as he eyes graduation into the ranks of Formula Renault.

Photo by Jakob Ebrey Photography.

Kaan OnderProtrain Racing driver Kaan Onder won last weekends prestigious annual International Open Championship at Zuera, Spain, in impressive style. Competing in Junior Rotax Max against the world’s leading drivers from Africa, Asia, Europe and North America Kaan was the one to beat from the moment his Borusan Otomotive Motorsport sponsored Tony Kart touched the Tarmac.

In incredible form Kaan totally dominated the talented field in practice posting the fastest time in the dry and when the wet weather arrived no other driver got to within a second of him. Protrain Racing were so pleased with the set up of the kart and the amazing times Kaan was achieving they even managed to leave practice early for some well deserved relaxation, rarely an option at such a high level.

By driving with great maturity combining speed, utilising the excellent kart set up and clever slipstreaming on the extremely fast Zuera Circuit Kaan claimed pole position in timed practice coming in .11s in front of his nearest rival.

The Zuera circuit, host to the recent KF European Championship, boasts a brilliant 13 second flat out section which provides a strong slipstream for all drivers, this cost Kaan a position in one of his heats but still did not prevent him coming first in two other heats, putting him in pole position for the pre final.

Kaan got a great start but after a couple of laps it became obvious he had a kart problem which eventually forced him to retire after only four laps. Cruelly this meant that he would have to start the final at the back of the grid.

Once again showing the maturity that had earned him his place at the highest level of Junior Rotax Max, Kaan was positive that he could win knowing he had the fastest kart on the track provided by Protrain Racing. In an immense drive Kaan drove an action packed five laps and took the lead, he then spent a few laps pulling away, eventually gaining a one second lead. However the talented competition were never going to give in that easily and with just a few laps to go the second place driver took advantage of the slipstream and took first place. Kaan was in inspirational form though and brilliant positioning on the last lap saw the Protrain Racing driver claim victory in an almost photo finish across the line. He had timed and actioned his move to perfection and claimed the title.

Afterwards the Protrain driver said, “I knew I could win even from the back of the grid, I just needed a strong start and anything was possible”. Kaan’s mechanic Jim Jones forecast before the race proved to be correct, he said “Even starting the final last we will lead the race at some point, it just depends on the slip streaming whether it will be at the chequered flag, we have the kart and driver to do it with”.

The entire Protrain Racing Team are thrilled with this brilliant victory and wish Kaan well with his BMW duties and are confident that he will be remain one of the drivers to beat in Junior Rotax Max in 2012.

Protrain is one of the most successful UK team running drivers in Europe with an impressive record of European Championship wins. Gary Chapman of Protrain commented “I am thrilled for Kaan; his win further demonstrates our strength in developing drivers at the highest level. 2011 has been a very exciting year for us with several promising new drivers joining our racing team in both the UK and Europe. The future for Protrain is filled with success.”

James PeaceJames Peace took another step forward in his career by putting in a high class performance at the Henry Surtees Foundation Trophy this week. The charity event organised by John Surtees OBE was a “Who’s Who” of British Motorsport talent. With the likes of Scott Malvern, Oliver Rowland, Alex Simms, Harry Ticknell, Oliver Webb, Jack Harvey, Josh Webster, Jody Fannin & Jake Dennis to name but a few, the competition was going to be tough.

Peace’s pace on equal equipment shone through. During the free practice sessions, Peace’s name rarely exited the top three and MSA Academy Coordinator Greg Symes commented on the consistency of the times Peace was able to post.

During qualifying however, a cracked manifold put paid to a front row start for the pre-final. Despite the low starting position, Peace once again showed his capability, cutting through the elite field finishing a credible 9th setting the third fastest time of the race in the process. “That was fun!” said a delighted Peace.

Unfortunately Peace was the victim of an over ambitious move early in the A Final. Peace had made a cracking start from 9th and was running 4th when, in the second hairpin, a kart mounted the back of his and removed his exhaust. Peace had to retire to the pits for repairs. “It’s been a great honour to race in this event. I have shown just how good I can be with similar equipment against this level of opposition.” enthused Peace.

“This event has reignited my winter training programme, and I can’t wait to get back into the car for further preparations for 2012. I have secured some of the budget required for my assault on the Intersteps 2012 Championship, and today has proven to me that I can mix it with the best!”

Selected lap times from the Pre A Final – Henry Surtees Trophy 2011



Previous Notable Results / Information

Riki Christodoulou


Formula 3 Driver

Alexander Simms


4th Formula 3 Euroseries 2010

James Peace


5th Intersteps Championship 2011 / Super 1 Junior TKM Champion 2010

Jordan Chamberlain


European KF2 Champion 2009 / Second World Karting Champs 2010

Oliver Rowland


Vice Champion Formula Renault 2.0 2011

Adam Christodoulou


Formula Renault 2.0 Champion 2008 / Star Mazda Champion 2009

Ashley Hand


Junior Max FKS Champion 2010 / Junior Max Kartmasters Champion 2009

Jody Fannin


Second Ginetta GT Supercup G50 2011

Josh Webster


Second Renault BARC 2011 / Winter Renault BARC Champion 2010

Scott Malvern


British Formula Ford Champion 2011 / Formula Ford Festival Winner 2011

Edward Brand


Rotax Max, 3rd International Open, Junior Rotax Super 1 Champion 2009

Jack Harvey


Second Formula BMW Europe 2010, Asian-Pacific Champion KF2 2008

Jake Dennis


Intersteps Champion 2011 / FK3 Super 1 Champion 2010 / CIK-FIA U18 World Karting Champion 2010

Callan O'KeeffeRicky Flynn Motorsport won an unprecedented sixth consecutive Super One title at Whilton Mill last weekend (9 October 2011) after Callan O’Keeffe put the KF3 Championship beyond his rivals’ grasp.

The young South African has dominated the series, standing on the podium no less than eleven times. He has also been in impressive form internationally, claiming the Vice-Champion’s crown in the CIK/FIA World Cup for KF3.

“It has been another fantastic year for us,” said RFM owner, Ricky Flynn. “What other team can boast such a legacy of success?”

He added: “These results are the product of a lot of hard work, second-to-none preparation and professionalism from everyone in the team. On top of that, it is our ability to get the most out of our drivers and give them the best kit with which to go out and get the job done, that sets us apart.”

In his debut season with the team, O’Keeffe’s team-mate Connor Jupp claimed 4th overall in the Super One KF3 Championship and 3rd in the CIK/FIA European KF3 Championship.

Darius Karbaley, on a limited international programme, underlined his potential with 12th overall in the CIK European title race.

In his maiden year in the KF2 class and Europe, Sam Macleod finished a creditable 4th in the CIK/FIA European series.

“Callan and Connor both listened, learned, applied the instructions they were given and enjoyed the benefits of this process. Sam laid down an excellent marker for next year with strong performances throughout the year and similarly, for Darius to finish 12th in one of Europe’s toughest Championships is a great achievement. More experienced drivers would be really chuffed with that. He and Sam both put down strong foundations on which they can build in 2012.”

The RFM driver line-up for 2012 is now being considered and evaluated. If you would like the opportunity to compete with Britain’s best team, please email Ricky at

To find out more about the multiple Championship-winning team, visit

James PeaceFormula BMW InterSteps star James Peace has been selected to represent the MSA Academy at the prestigious Henry Surtees Trophy. James used to watch Henry drive around home kart tracks Rissington and Shenington, and jumped at the chance to support the event. “Getting support to do Motorsport is exceptionally difficult, so an opportunity like this is a perfect chance to give something back to organisations and charities.”

Having shown recent form in the InterSteps Championship, taking 11 podiums from 18 finishes which included 2 wins, 2 poles, 3 fastest laps, 2 second places and 7 third places, the MSA selected James to drive for the Academy Team. It was at Buckmore Park last year that James sealed the Junior TKM British Championship, in which he dominated the season, taking 8 podiums from 12 races and 4 wins.

The Henry Surtees Trophy, organised by former F1 world champion John Surtees, raises awareness for the Henry Surtees Foundation annually, but also gives British drivers the opportunity to race against the very best in British Motorsport, and James will feel right at home, racing alongside established singe seater drivers Oliver Webb and Harry Tincknell in the MSA team.

James PeaceThe event on Thursday 20th October will be the first time James has driven a Kart competitively since his step up to single seaters at the start of the year.

“I cannot wait to drive a kart again, it seems like forever and I would not pick a better track to race than Buckmore, it’s quite possibly the best track I have ever raced at and I have fond memories!”

James Continued, “Not only is this a great charity event, but it is an opportunity for me to network with contacts and discuss options for 2012, so I would like to thank Greg Symes and the MSA Academy for giving me this opportunity and making this possible”.