Rookie Driver Sweeps Daytona Kart WeekTweet
The cold, rainy weather during the 2012 World Karting Association (WKA) KartWeek in Daytona Beach last month didn't stop Wellington, Fla. resident Jeremy Fairbairn, 8, from turning up the heat. Though tall for his age, the young driver only began karting just over a year ago and this year's KartWeek at Daytona International Speedway was his first. Inexperience didn't stop Fairbairn as he went on to dominate the weekend going P1 in every competitive on-track session.
"I first became interested in karting from my dad," said Fairbairn. "He's very into racing and I've been tagging along to his track events for a few years now at Palm Beach International Raceway (PBIR). Every time we would pull up to the track I'd ask, 'Dad, now can I drive the karts?'"
When Fairbairn turned 7 years old, his father, Marcel Fairbairn, set-up a lead-follow session on a Kid Kart with one of the instructors at the track. From that point forward he was instantly hooked and began practicing a few times each week. He's been entering every local race he can and while his home track remains PBIR, he has also spent time at Ocala Speedway, Homestead-Miami Speedway and the RaceComplex in Ft. Myers.
The Manufacturer's Cup series in Daytona Beach is one of the most coveted national races in all of karting and is home to many of the most well-known drivers. This year, more than 2,000 competitors from around the country competed on three tracks.
After skating through qualifiers, Fairbairn, who was competing in his first race in Yamaha Rookie, took first in the pre-final on Saturday. The win earned him a prime spot on the inside front row for the finals. Though losing his position at the start of the race, Fairbairn worked his way back up to take the lead and finished more than eight seconds ahead of the other drivers.
"Winning the final race on Saturday gave me confidence to keep going and push myself even harder during Sunday's events," said Fairbairn.
Turning heads for the second day in a row, the enthusiastic new driver qualified first and took his first career pole. Fairbairn swept the day, leading every lap from the start of the day through to the main event. Finishing once again eight seconds ahead of the competition, Fairbairn earned himself a sweet victory."It was a great weekend and I'm so excited to bring home such an important win," said Fairbairn. "I'm looking forward to a repeat performance in Kershaw, S.C. in a couple of months."