Kart racer Moon Yuen is living life in the fast lane, and hopes others in Hong Kong can do the same

Kart racer Moon Yuen is living life in the fast lane, and hopes others in Hong Kong can do the same

Moon Yuen is one of the best drivers Hong Kong has seen in a long time, and he's only 11.Vien Tsang caught up with the speed demon to find out about the future of local racing

sport30.artg7jeub8n.1ypimg-20140918-wa0013.jpg

Moon Yuen is the real deal behind the wheel of his 60cc Vortex Mini Rok Kart.
Moon Yuen is the real deal behind the wheel of his 60cc Vortex Mini Rok Kart.
Photo: Jonathan Wong

sport30.artg7jeub8n.1ypimg-20140918-wa0006.jpg

Moon Yuen practises in Shenzhen once a week, but dreams of training in Hong Kong.
Moon Yuen practises in Shenzhen once a week, but dreams of training in Hong Kong.
Photo: Jonathan Wong

A true athlete strives for their goals, even if their sport lacks resources or isn't in the mainstream. For Moon Yuen, an up-and-coming kart driver, his goal is to bring a proper racing circuit back to Hong Kong - and he hopes that his racing achievements will help him do it.

Moon, who will turn 12 in October, recently won the Outstanding Junior Athlete Award from the Sports for Hope Foundation. "It is such a significant honour and I am glad to be rewarded with other junior athletes," he says. "The award shows the increasing attention to the sport in Hong Kong. This means a lot."

There are currently no kart circuits in Hong Kong, partly because of a tragic accident in 2010. A girl died when her scarf got caught in her kart and strangled her.

Moon feels sorry for the victim but doesn't believe that local circuits should be banned because of one accident. "Let's pay extra attention to the safety precautions," he says. "Kart driving is not as dangerous as people think."

This doesn't mean that Moon has never had a scary moment on the track. "During a race in 2012, my friend's kart clipped me," he says. "I didn't flip but he did - his kart turned upside down and he fell out. I ended up driving through but we were both ejected from the race."

Not even a crash can stop Moon from his dream of kart glory. He overcame the experience and finished tied for first in this year's Asian Karting Championships.

And the racer still enjoys the thrill of his speeding kart, which can easily reach 100km/h. "I feel that I'm another person in the kart. It makes me braver, more focused and I never feel tired, because I keep competing and want to win."

The Year Seven Harrow International School student practises in Shenzhen once a week, but dreams of training in Hong Kong. "I've never driven on Hong Kong tracks before. I know people who have quit karting altogether because it's too far to go to the mainland, so I think Hong Kong should really open a new track to raise the standard of the sport."

Moon is currently tied with one other driver as the points leader for the year. "I took first place in the second round of the China Championship, and I've been invited to the Cadet Class final, which will be held at the end of the year. I'm excited because this will be my first Championship final," he says.

It definitely won't be his last. In fact this year Moon may also take part in a second Championship series by racing in the Junior Class, which is usually for drivers aged 13 to 16.

This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
Living life in the fast lane

Comments

To post comments please
register or