Is the next Lewis Hamilton or Jensen Button living in Hucknall?
That is the question after young novice driver Ruben Hage (pictured) successfully made the next step up in the sport of karting.
The Dispatch reported last summer how eight-year-old Ruben was making his mark in the Bambino Kart Club Championship, an eight-race series around the UK for six-to-eight-year-olds.
He ended up finishing ninth in the championship overall and won the award for the most improved driver of the year.
Now Ruben has graduated to cadet karts, which can achieve speeds of up to 55mph. And he is adapting well in his first season within the Northern Karting Federation Championship, which is an official Motor Sports Association event for eight-to-13-year-olds.
In his first race at Larkhall, in Hamilton, Scotland, he drove his Comer-powered 60cc zip cadet kart into seventh position. And he followed up with sixth place at Wombwell, in Barnsley, and tenth at the Three Sisters track in Wigan.
Because Ruben is a novice yet to complete six races at this level, he must start every contest at the back of the grid. And in one race, he ended up being thrown out of his kart on to the grass. But the pace he has shown is very promising.
Even though he missed the opening race of the championship because he wasn’t old enough, he currently lies eighth in the 12-driver championship.
He has also missed the latest race later because of a family holiday in Malaga. But he will be back in action on 6th/7th September at Hooton, Ellesmere Port.
Ruben, who enjoys all motorsport, as well as taekwondo and swimming, is the son of proud parents 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 five-year-old birthday. Now he has his own sponsors and even his own website, www.rubenhagekarting.co.uk.
Says dad Richard: “No other form of motorsport enables children of his age to seriously hone their racing ability like karting. It also creates an understanding of the physical, mathematical and mechanical aspects of motorsport.”