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Nine-y-o Sirgany shines at Florida go-karting event

NINE-year-old Justin Sirgany said he felt no nerves at all as he held on for first place in the Homestead Karting Sprint Championship and second place overall in the ROTAX Micromax

Karting Fall Championships in Florida recently.

The St Andrew Prep School student returned from the United States on Monday carting his first-place plaque and runner-up trophy.

Nine-year-old Justin Sirgany poses with his trophies won at the Homestead Karting Sprint Championship in Florida on his return to the island from the United States on Monday.

“I didn’t feel scared or nervous. The kid who came second was 11 and I’m only nine,” Sirgany told the Observer in a recent interview.

His father Steve added that Justin came very close to taking the overall title.

“He was leading the championships by quite a bit and you’re allowed to throw away one and he ended up getting gastroenteritis and ended not being able to drive at all and with all of that he still he came second in the championship,” he said.

Sirgany, who is preparing for the Pan American Challenge in Newcastle, Indiana next month, has been travelling between the United States and Jamaica a lot this year for competition.

His father explained: “We don’t have any more competitors in his class (in Jamaica), so if he wants any competition he has to travel.”

The younger Sirgany, who began racing at age five when he earned the rookie of the year title in Jamaica, finished sixth overall at the Grand National, also in the USA, in July after earning pole position for the opening qualifier.

“He had pole position and won the first qualifying race and came fourth in the next race and third in the other. On the final day they run them in order of how you finished overall and he ended up starting second. He went from second to 12 on corner one; he finished 10th in that race and sixth overall,” Steve Sirgany added.

Justin told the Observer he is following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather who were both drivers as well, though his father hasn’t raced in over a decade.

“I race to have fun. I like it because I have fun when I drive. It’s fun to win. My grandfather drove. My dad drove and I got a kart and started driving. It was like just getting and having fun. I like the sport,” said Justin.

“He grew up watching me and he just kind of watched me and he just loves it and excels at it,” his father stated.

“Anything he puts his mind to… he’s one more belt away from a black belt. He’s small and I guess this is a way he can even up. Size don’t matter when you’re behind the wheel.”

An A student in school, Sirgany has been concentrating on studies as much as his extra-curricular activities.

“I do after karate after school and on the weekend and after I usually go and practise.”

“He’s doing very well in school. He has to give me at least A or he won’t be able to do it. We do homework on the plane,” said his father.

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