Kayne Cherian won the UAE Rotax Max Championship in the DD2 Category at the season finale last weekend in Al Ain. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Kayne Cherian is quickly making a name for himself in the fast lane. Having just won the UAE Rotax Max Championship in the DD2 Category at the season finale last weekend in Al Ain, the 17-year-old will now get to represent the UAE at the Rotax MAX Challenge Grand Finals 2023.

This will take place for the second time at the Bahrain International Karting Circuit in Sakhir from December 2-9 2023 and almost 300 champion drivers will take part. His preparations are going well and he is looking forward to the challenge. “I am ensuring that I am physically fit and ready and this involves training and conditioning to build strength, endurance, and agility,” says Cherian who has been racing professionally in karting since the age of 12 competing at both National and International levels. “I will work closely with my Brand Racing team to make sure the kart is perfectly set up for the race and that will include hours of testing, data analysis and we will work on strategies and make sure they are ready to execute on race day.”

National series

The UAE Rotax MAX Challenge is the UAE’s only national karting series where each driver scores points for each race meeting. The drivers with the most points in each of the classes are crowned the national champion. There is a detailed rule book for both technical and sporting regulations and while impressive trophies are awarded, the organisers pick performing drivers to represent the UAE in the Rotax MAX Challenge Grand Finals which is held in a different country each year. Cherian has represented the UAE several times before and a highlight for him came in 2019 at the MENA Cup in Muscat, Oman, where he received a medal from former FIA president Jean Todt accompanied by current FIA president Mohammed Bin Sulayem.

The talented driver also represented the UAE in Bahrain in 2021 and again in Portugal in 2022. “It was an honour,” he says, and the Dubai-born racer is ready to do it again. “The Grand Finals is a global event bringing together the best drivers from all over the world. Hence it is quite an unforgettable experience to be able to take part in it.”

He is getting plenty of support as he gears up for the event, particularly from his parents Mekha and Sheryl, his school and his team. “My family is and has always been my biggest source of support,” continues Cherian whose strong passion for motorsports stems from the enthusiasm he has for cars and speed. “I am also grateful for all the help I get from my school GEMS WSO, who have awarded me a sports scholarship this year. Last but not least, my team, Brand Racing, whom I have been with since the start, are always by my side supporting and helping me to become a better driver.”

With the 2022-23 season coming to a close, the racing calendar will now shift to Europe until the end of autumn with championships such as the Belgium Netherlands League racing, RMC Euro Trophy and RMC International trophy all taking place. Cherian intends to take part in some of these events and is looking forward to competing with top drivers from all over the world.

Racing legends

He is leaving his mark in karting tracks from the Al Ain Raceway, Dubai Kartdrome, Muscat Speedway and Yas Marina with several first-place finishes reaching speeds in excess of 100kph but he is keen to explore GT, Touring and other categories. Formula One, the pinnacle of motor racing, is also on his mind and several legends including Ayrton Senna, Michael Schumacher, Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton all started in karting. But Cherian is wary of how difficult it would be to get there without serious financial backing. “Whilst almost every karting driver would aspire to reach Formula One, the level of competition not to mention high costs involved makes it difficult to pursue without proper support and sponsorships.”

He is studying mechanical engineering as he bids for a career in motorsports but in the meantime he will continue to compete professionally and hone his racing craft. And who knows, that Formula One dream may just come true.