His ambitions haven’t extended to the heady heights of Formula 1 yet, but already, 18-year-old Nick Canal is pondering a move to Formula 3 or Formula Renault after just two years in motorsport!
The senior IB student at GEMS World Academy in Dubai competed in the FG1000 category cars at the Dubai Motorsports festival at the Dubai Autodrome. In the process, the Spanish-American youngster notched up his third consecutive pole position, the fastest lap and two podium finishes.
Canal is also studying hard for his exams in January and meantime is continuing his karting sessions in the UAE, his sights set firmly on a win in race weekend 4 for round seven and eight on January 25 at Yas Marina Circuit.
Speaking to XPRESS following his Dubai Autodrome exploits, Nick, who also hopes to get a Dubai driving licence at his first attempt, said: “It’s all about time management. I mean I have to study, train in the gym and practice karting, so it’s a delicate balance I maintain. It has worked so far.
“I also intend to take driving classes now that I have turned 18. It’s one thing to drive on a circuit and quite another to drive on the Dubai roads.”
Interestingly, Canal began his motorsports venture in Formula BMW in Spain and not in karts as is usually the case. He took the podium eight times out of 10, and received the title of Vice-Champion of the series and Champion of the junior class.
“Ideally, it’s better to start in karts, although I started differently and did quite well. Fact is, I have always been interested in cars and am a bit of a petrolhead,” he said.
Canal hopes his stints in Dubai and Abu Dhabi will go a long way when he finally moves to the UK to pursue a degree in Industrial Design. “I have been fastest in practice but need to improve on managing my time better and reduce fatigue during races. But I have gained a lot of experience which should help me when I move to UK next year,” he said.
Talking about his recent Dubai Autodrome experience Canal said: “I spun in the first corner of the first race and found myself last. It was good I managed to finish third after all that. But that meant starting from third in the grid for Race 2 and I finished second less than half a second behind the winner.”
So, how do his friends, family and classmates look at him?
“I am just another guy, but my classmates really appreciate me. I am the only racer in my family, but while there was some doubt initially, my parents support me whole-heartedly now,” he said.
In 2012/2013, Nick took part in pre-season testing with Formula Gulf in Malaysia's Sepang Circuit and is once again participating in the FG1000. He is also participating in the Rotax Max UAE Challenge, a new challenge for him as it is his first time to participate in a karting championship.