Written by Andrea Griego (Student Support Coordinator)
The flag drops and they are off. The go-karts zoom by at speeds of up to 145 kms per hour. You may think that driving one of these go-karts is frightening, but for Griffin Peebles this is a normal occurrence and his passion.
Griffin Peebles has been driving go-karts for almost two years and has travelled to Australia, Macau and Malaysia to race. Soon he will also race in Italy. He takes his kart racing seriously and says he races, “mostly in Shanghai on a circuit that is near the F1 circuit, it takes about an hour to get there.” Because he mentioned the Formula 1 circuit, he was asked if he would like to drive an F1 car when he grows up. Griffin smiled and said, “Maybe, but I would really like to be a V8 super car driver.”
Griffin’s love of Motorsport started at an early age and was something that was passed down by his father and grandfather. All three travel together when Griffin has a big race. Learning this sport has allowed for Griffin to become closer to both his father and grandfather. Griffin stated that he began to play with toy cars on a track and moved on to real kart driving at age 7 and racing at age 8. He is on a Motorsport team that is headed by his dad, Robert. His dad says, “Griffin turns nine this month. We are expecting big things from his second season.”
There are two other racers on his team that are ages 6 and 8. “Griffin gets to meet lots of other kids from other countries and loves being in a team environment,” says his Dad. Aside from the racers and Griffin’s dad, the team also has a full-time mechanic and a race engineer/driving instructor. The team must find the perfect kart frame and choose the best engine. The racers then must break-in the engine for optimal racing. Because the kart that Griffin races does not have a roll cage, he must be very skilled not to roll the kart. He says he has rolled his kart once but was not injured. He said, “I was thrown out of the kart, but I landed in the grass.”
Griffin has raced up to a speed of 105 kms per hour. His best kart race was with forty other racers and he placed fourth. Griffin has been working on a website so that he can share his love of Motorsport with others. He hopes to have his site up within the next few months.