Karting kid Ruben is one to watch

ONE TO WATCH -- Ruben Hage.
ONE TO WATCH -- Ruben Hage.
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Kid karter Ruben Hage (pictured), of Hucknall, has ended his debut season as a cadet driver with a bang.

Ruben, who is just eight years old, secured his highest-placed finish of sixth -- and was top novice -- in the last round of the Northern Karting Federation Championship at Fulbeck, near Newark.

He might still be promoted to fifth because the winner of all three heats and the final was excluded at post-event scrutineering for a technical infringement.

That driver has now lodged an appeal with the sport’s governing body, the Motor Sport Association.

But irrespective of the result of the appeal, Ruben will end the campaign in ninth place overall in the 12-driver championship and first novice. And that’s a fine effort in his first year in cadet karts, considering he missed one round because he wasn’t old enough and missed another because he was on a family holiday in Malaga.

What’s more, he was one of the youngest drivers in the championship, which caters for eight-to-13-year-olds. And also, because he is still a novice, he had to start every race at the back of the grid.

Ruben is the son of Richard and Lyndsey Hage and goes to Hucknall National Primary School.

He became hooked on karting after trying out the Amen Corner track next to Rufford Country Park in Edwinstowe on his fifth birthday.

Competitive racing began in the Bambino Kart Club Championship for six-to-eight-year-olds before graduating to cadet karts, which can reach speeds of 55mph.

Now he even has his own sponsor and his own website at www,rubenhagekarting.co.uk.

“Starting from the back of the grid, it’s been a tough challenge to keep in contact with the front-runners,” commented dad Richard.

“But to finish ninth overall is an excellent performance and opens up some options for his 2014 campaign when he will no longer be classified as a novice.

“Ruben would like to thank all Dispatch readers for their messages of support during 2013.”