South African junior go-kart champion Aaryan Singhs wants to race in big the leagues

Aaryan Singh, 12, was recently crowned the fastest racer in Africa for his age group and will represent South Africa at the junior go-kart world championships in Italy in October. Pictures: Supplied

Aaryan Singh, 12, was recently crowned the fastest racer in Africa for his age group and will represent South Africa at the junior go-kart world championships in Italy in October. Pictures: Supplied

Published May 9, 2024


LIKE all professional athletes who have excelled from a young age, ‘mini’ go kart champion for the African continent, Aaryan Singh, 12, hopes to follow in the footsteps of his idol Lewis Hamilton and race in Formula 1.

Aaryan’s parents introduced him to this sport after they relocated to Dubai in 2022. He was a victim of bullying at his new school and this was meant to help him get into a “better head space”, his mother Trishana Singh said.

But, Aaryan excelled in the sport and it became a career worth pursuing, Singh said.

Aaryan with his ticket to the world championships in Europe. Picture: Supplied

After finding his voice on the track, exiting corners at high speed and a fearlessness to go flat out, Singh showed dominance when he returned to South Africa in March for the South African Rotax MAX Challenge (SARMC) National and African Open hosted at the Killarney Kart Track, Cape Town.

He has since joined WORR Motorsport, according to Motorsport South Africa and competes in IAME competitions and has been crowned champion of various continents despite being a “newbie” in the sport, a proud Singh explained.

Along with the Mini MAX African Open Champion title, Aaryan is also the 2023 IAME Middle East Cup Champion and 2023 IAME Summer Cup Vice-Champion.

Aaryan Singh in the number 21 go-kart racing around a track in the middle-east. Picture: Supplied/ IAME

He also raced in the British championship this week.

“The win saw him earn a ticket to compete at the RMC Grand Finals in Italy as a member of Team South Africa,” Motorsport South Africa said in a statement.

But before racking up title after title, Trishana and her husband Kabir had no idea their son had octane in his blood.

They said had it not been for the Covid-19 lockdown, they would have never discovered his talent.

“It was during Covid when we took him to an indoor go kart track in Joburg, which was where had lived before moving to the UAE.

“He got into the kart and started going around the track. My husband and I didn’t think much and we just watched him. But, someone came up to us and asked if he raced and we said no and then asked why.

“The guy at the track told us he is doing fast lap times and has style in his driving. So again, we didn’t think much of it because it was just a day out for us. The guy at the track said to bring him back again the next day, to see if he performed again.

“We went back the next day and he did it again and the guy was really impressed. They told us to take him for some lessons to sharpen his skills.

“Two months before we left for Dubai, my husband and I took Aaryan to the Zwartkops race track to get a feel of what a car does on the real track and again he shined. The people at the track spoke to us and told us what sort of approach we should take if we wanted to go to the next level,” Trishana Singh told POST.

Singh could not explain where his son found his inner speed demon but did mention that Kabir had driven a sports car while they lived in South Africa, which provided some justification because he is the only family member that races.

The family finally relocated to Dubai but Aaryan’s luck was not the best and he was badly bullied during his early days at the new school.

“We saw that it took a toll on him and we really just wanted to get his mind away off everything. His father took him to a race track in Dubai. This was more professional than what he was exposed to in South Africa.

“The moment Aaryan got onto the track, he was one of the fastest even though he was not registered or professional like some of the others there.

“We decided to commit to it after we saw him show so much promise and in 2022 he got his licence which permitted him to race internationally. He was in the top five since he got that licence and only got better from there,” Singh said.

Since attaining a seat in the sanctioned world of go kart racing, Aaryan Singh has made the podium his second home, claiming victories in Asia, Africa the middle-east and will now go on to race the European circuit.

Having claimed the title of Africa’s fastest for his class, Aaryan will now go on to represent South Africa in Italy in October at the world championships.

He can stay in the “mini” category until he is 13 years-old, after which he will have to enter the “junior” cohort of racers.

“While I race in IAME competitions in the Middle East, I’m a South African at heart and wanted to race at home. I could not have asked for a better result and I am looking forward to representing Team SA in Italy later this year. Thank you to WORR Motorsport and everyone for their support. I hope to be back soon,” Aaryan said in a MSA statement.

But the world of motorsport is an insanely expensive affair, even more so if you do not have the backing of sponsors, with a conundrum on the cards for Singh’s racing career looming.

“In a couple of years the reality is that Aaryan will want to race in Formula 4, which is crazy expensive. So our plan for now is to grow awareness about him and hopefully secure a sponsor so he can progress even further in the sport, ultimately, maybe end up in F1,” Singh said.