Walvis Bay-With motor sport firmly entrenched in his blood, 13-year-old Richard Slamet Jnr is about to make racing history when he becomes the youngest competitor to race the main circuit at the Tony Rust Raceway this year.
And as the 2018 national circuit racing champions’ season kicks off tomorrow with the 1st leg of the national championships, young Richard will attempt his first race in Class X driving a 2-litre 8-valve Golf.
The boy is no stranger to the racetrack however, having cut his teeth in the karting circuit where he spent the past five years competing fiercely and currently holds the Junior Max Kart Championship title.
He is also the third generation Slamet to carry on the family tradition in motor sport in a long line of circuit racing and rally champions, pioneered by his grandfather Ronald Slamet Snr back in the 80’s racing both bikes and cars at the popular Tony Rust Circuit.
His old man Richard (Snr), who is the chairman of the Windhoek Motor Club, is a name that needs little introduction in local motor racing.
Richard (Snr) holds the national superbike circuit racing championship title for three years now, and also emerged as a crack rally driver in 2014.
His younger brother Ronald has raced the Cape Town Superbike circuit and has five championship titles under his belt, of which three were consecutive Western Province championships.
Even their sister Ronel Anderhill raced Superbikes on the Namibian championship series for three years, making her the only female to race the main circuit.
So, with racing in his veins it’s no surprise that Richard Jnr is already firing on all cylinders surging ahead to make a name for himself as a leader in motorsport.
Young Slamet, who is a Grade 7 learner and member of the LRC at Windhoek Gymnasium Private School, is the youngest competitor to race a car in main circuit racing in Namibia.
The young driver was granted special dispensation by the Namibian Motorsport Federation (NMSF), because of his highly rated driving skill, experience and mature racing abilities.
The normal minimum age to compete in this elite class of racers is 16 years and Richard Jnr will compete in the 2018 national series in the main circuit races as well as the national championship in the Junior Max karting series, to defend his title.
“He’s been practising well ahead of time,” said proud father Richard Snr, adding that his son is a dedicated competitor, and has had a lot of support from the family who are rooting for him all the way to the finish.
Racing starts at 12h30 after qualifying practice, which will be the first time competitors drive the track clockwise.
The reason for this is to balance the speed of the cars and skills of the driver, as some of the guys are clocking speeds of up to 290 kays in their machines, and racing the track in the opposite direction will slow things down a little.
Organizers of the Windhoek Motor Club are expecting around 20 cars for main circuit racing and a line-up of ten karts at the start.