Dominique Egner never saw himself as a kart racer. Although the 16-year-old German European School student has tried his hand at karting when he was 12, he always thought that the sport was not only expensive but also too difficult to break through.
"I'm a realist, so no, I did not see karting as a prospective career option," said the Singapore permanent resident of German-Filipino descent.
After snagging one of two year-long karting scholarships by winning the 15-17 age group at the Rev Up Singapore! Karting Championship yesterday, he is now ready to give the sport a real go.
Each sponsorship, worth $11,850, consists of a Singapore Motor Sports Association karting licence, full race gear, practice sessions and entry to KF1 official races in Singapore in 2015. Yesterday's final two races featured 24 hopefuls, who had been whittled down from 120.
Starting the race in sixth place at the 720m-long Marina Bay Street Circuit, Egner surged into the lead early on when he took a gamble at the first turn.
"At turn one, everyone was taking a wide turn so I took a brave pill, turned on the inside and got ahead of the pack," he said.
Good fortune was also how Muhammad Ridhwan Abu Bakar won the 18-21 category.
"Someone spun out in the first turn so I managed to get ahead and from there it was about making sure I stayed in the lead," said Ridhwan, 21, a Nanyang Polytechnic sports and wellness student.
Guest of honour Second Minister for Trade and Industry S. Iswaran lauded the championship, part of the Rev Up Singapore! campaign aimed at getting the local community involved with next month's Formula One race through activities like educational talks at schools and behind-the-scenes tours of the race compound.
"Part of the Singapore Grand Prix experience that's unique is the involment of the local community which happens in different ways," said Mr Iswaran. "This is an interesting initiative reaching out to a younger demographic... and one that is part of a larger development of community involvement."
This article was first published on August 31, 2014.
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