We had such a great time sitting down with our 5th grade GCA champion, Kai, to talk about his incredibly hootworthy hobby: Kart racing! Kai competes around the country in the Swift race class that includes go-karts which can reach up to 70 mph! He has participated in over 25 races so far with several top 5 finishes, but winning first-place continues to elude him. Kai got into racing after watching a tv show featuring a Formula One driver going 200 miles an hour. While watching the show, he thought to himself, “That sounds cool. I want to do that!”
Kai prepares for races and trains to be a better driver in various
ways including using a racing simulator at home that includes a driving chair,
steering wheel, and pedals that mimic a go-kart racing experience. He has
a local track that he can practice driving on regularly and also has a coach
that provides feedback on how he can improve and where he is excelling. A lot
of this information also comes from data sent from a computer and camera that
captures his driving. For example, Kai and his coach can analyze his lap times
and turns to see where he is slowing down, how much faster he could have gone,
and what he needs to focus on to get faster.
Kai mentioned that the most difficult thing about racing is consistency.
Drivers must stay as fast as possible the entire race. These go-karts do not
have auto steer, so they are more difficult to turn, drivers can experience
forces up to 4 Gs, and small mess ups can cost them the race. He emphasized the
importance of consistency in the fact that 2 tenths of a second can separate 15
positions. He finds racing rewarding in winning and having fun, but it’s even
better when he beats an opponent who has a reputation for winning because then
the win means even more to him.
He has appreciated being a GCA student because it has allowed him
to pursue his Kart racing hobby, while simultaneously completing his education.
He hasn’t felt like he has missed out on racing or schooling thanks to GCA and
If you want to keep up with Kai, you can find him on his Instagram
Racer_Kai, or at his local track Atlanta MotorSports Park. He loves it there
because it feels like a real community, family. He hopes to go 200 plus mph as
a professional racecar driver one day but knows he must work to get there! He
appreciates his mom, dad, coach, and teammates for all their support and GCA
and his teachers for being flexible with him. Keep it up Racer Kai! Your GCA
Fam is rooting for you!