Teen go-karters Kingsley and Lester So talk championships, injuries and brotherhood

Teen go-karters Kingsley and Lester So talk championships, injuries and brotherhood

Brothers Kingsley and Lester So have an unusual adrenaline-fueled hobby: go-karting


Lester and Kingsley So with fellow racer Dick Yu (centre).
Photo: Wonderful Worlds of Whampoa

Other siblings might play online games together in their spare time, but not Kingsley and Lester So. Instead they balance their passion for go-karting with their schoolwork.

In the past two years, 17-year-old Kingsley and 14-year-old Lester, both of Yew Chung International School, have attended more than 20 international go-karting competitions. Earlier this year, Kingsley and Lester attended the Super Karts! Summer National in America, part of the largest US karting competitions. Though they didn’t win, they have been invited to the Wonderful Worlds of Whampoa Super Car Carnival on September 25 as coaches, to teach people how to drive in a simulator designed for Formula E.

The brothers share a little about their love for racing and go-karting with Young Post.

How did you get into car-racing?

Kingsley: Even when I was little, I would be able to tell you the model of a car simply by listening to the sound of the engine, or by looking at a part of the car.

Just like every other young boy out there, I played racing games on the PlayStation. I’d always win those games, and I felt like I was able to drive very well.

When I was about 12, my father took me to Zhuhai (珠海) to race against him and his friend, and I came second. Two years later, I felt ready to commit to the sport. I bought my own cart, my own gear and started to practise every week.

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Go-karting is definitely exciting, but have there been any incidents that made you reconsider the sport?

K: I have had two major accidents during my career. I was once practising for an event, when someone came from behind. He lost control of his kart, which resulted in me losing control of my kart – and I injured my right knee. I was sent to hospital and transferred back to Hong Kong. I couldn’t walk for three months. In the China Karting Championships’ Main event, someone crashed into my go-kart. I hurt my wrist, which meant I had trouble keeping up with others in school.

These injuries must have worried your parents a lot. What do they think about your decision to continue to race?

K: I am very thankful that my parents think like me. They are willing to let me take risks. My parents told me to “let all these injuries hurt”, because the worst-case scenario would only be a few broken bones. I think if I decide to pursue car racing as a career, my parents will be there for me.

Kingsley isn’t the only petrolhead in the family – his younger brother is a big car fan, too. Lester wants to be a Formula One driver one day. At the age of 14, he already has a bright future in the sport.Does having an older brother with similar interests affect how he thinks about it?

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Your brother started go-karting before you. Was this a factor in your interest in the sport?

Lester: Yes, definitely. If not for him, I probably wouldn’t have tried [go-karting]. One day, my mum was away and my dad was taking my brother to training in Shenzhen. Since I wasn’t allowed to be left home alone, I went along with them. They let me drive a go-kart there, and after that, I decided to train and develop my own interest in the sport. I have loved driving go-karts since that moment.

If you could give just one piece of advice to potential racers, what would it be?

L: Live in the moment. Not all racers achieve their dreams [of making it big] but that doesn’t mean the events you are competing in now aren’t memorable. As long as you believe in yourself, you will always do your best. All your nerves disappear when you sit behind the wheel and all that’s left is excitement. It’s like you’re entering a whole new world.

This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
3, 2, 1 ... and they’re off!


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