An 11-year-old kart racer from Hundon has been identified by a national racing team as a potential future British champion in his sport.
Reggie Duhy has already been karting for more than three-and-a-half-years, during which time he has been stacking up the trophies.
In 2014 the Hundon Primary School pupil showed just how much potential he has by winning the Iame Cadet Championship at the Hunts Kart Racing Club (HKRC) in Kimbolton.
He won the title by a staggering 253 points from his nearest challenger, winning 12 heats and five finals.
Reggie was also HKRC’s East Anglian Trophy Meeting Champion and runner-up in the Iame Cadet Championship at Whilton Mill Karting Club (WMKC) near Daventry.
It was while racing at Whilton in August that Reggie caught the eye of the British and European racing team, 3DR Motorsport, who spotted his potential and approached his parents Belinda and Dave.
Belinda, a bookkeeper, explained: “They have turned round to us and said ‘we want him, we don’t want anyone else to have him’.
“3DR have said to Reggie ‘we guarantee you that you will be British champion when you go up to minimax because there is no-one out there that can touch you’.”
3DR director Danny Russell, who saw Reggie racing, said: “The kid is really good at his age.
“We’ve been involved in motor racing for probably 30 years and he is probably one of the best kids we have ever seen.
“It doesn’t bother me if he doesn’t win a race all year, we are still going to take him on and move him up.”
This season Reggie is competing in two club championships; the Trent Valley Karting Club (TVKC) PFI near Newark-on-Trent — considered the Silverstone of karting — the WMKC and the Iame Little Green Man, a national competition second only to Super One (British Championship).
Reggie pointed out that while his race competitors have their own mechanics and use laptops to analyse their performance, he simply relies on his dad — a self-taught mechanic — for all mechanical help and advice.
That fact plays a big part in how Reggie’s feels about his goals in the sport, as he said: “I really want to be the British champion because me and my dad would be the only father and son to become number one in the country.
“Me and dad just put our heads together and think about what the kart’s doing, rather than sitting at a laptop and all its data telling you what you need to do.
“They are paying out mountains of money whereas me and dad are just paying an entrance fee.”
Once Reggie has grown bigger and weighs 39kg, he will be able to step up to the minimax category and therefore receive 3DR’s backing to challenge in Super One — a standard of racing that normally requires at least £10,000 a season just to get on the track.
Having 3DR’s backing means that once Reggie gets to minimax, his parents will only need to cover the cost of race entry fees, tyres, wear and tear and the fuel needed to get to tracks all over the country.
Having the interest of 3DR is not only a Godsend to Reggie’s family, but also a shock.
“We were always told when we got into carting that no-one ever looks at cadets,” said Belinda. “It’s all about the money.
“You’ve got to pay to go to the big teams.
“They (3DR) turned round to us and said he is the absolute business and we want him. I said I’m not paying because we can’t afford it and they said ‘we don’t want a penny from you, we want him’.
“People don’t usually take cadets, full stop.”
It is not just 3DR who see a future champion in Reggie.
Super One’s website has predicted the British Championship will come down to a two-horse race between Reggie and Johnny Edgar.
As talented as Reggie may be, however, the cost of the sport is so prohibitive that his parents are seeking sponsors to help them cover the £6,000 needed just to cover the basics and enable him to compete in the British Championships.
Belinda said she and husband Dave — a builder by trade — operate on a ‘shoestring’ compared to other parents they see at meetings.
Instead of a swanky campervan, they have converted a Mercedes Sprinter to provide transport, a mobile workshop and accommodation on race weekends.
Reggie’s dream is to become a professional motor racing driver, but his parents are pragmatic about what the future may hold.
Belinda said: “We are realistic. The chances of him going there are so slim because you’ve got to have the money. Unless we have a lottery win, that’s not going to happen.
“But everyone told us no-one looks at cadets, you will have to pay the whole way, no-one will take you on.
“Yet we have been taken on free of charge and we are going to be given all the stuff.”
To sponsor Reggie, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07527 804659.