School kids may be on fast track to F1 glory

Primary school students are given the opportunity to experience the feeling behind the wheel after karting courses are introduced to Shanghai's primary schools for the first time.
Ma Yue / SHINE

Students take turns to experience the feeling of sitting in a kart car during their first karting lesson at Fangtai Primary School on Wednesday.

Primary school students are to be given the opportunity to sit behind the wheel as karting courses are introduced to primary schools.

Fangtai Primary School and Defu Road Primary School in Jiading District have introduced karting courses this semester. Each school sends 20 kids for a total of 15 classes.

Motor racing history, mechanics and racing rules will be taught during the classes, with students invited to Shanghai SAIC International Circuit’s Kart World in the latter part of the course.

The project is run by Jiading District Sports Bureau, Jiading District Educational Administration, Juss Event (organizer of the Formula One Chinese Grand Prix) and Shanghai Jiupu Sports Culture Communication Company.

Jiupu, organizer of Grand Prix Kart Scholarship, a national kart competition for children aged from 7 to 15, will provide coaches.

After acquiring basic knowledge, the students will get some physical training and head to Shanghai SAIC International Circuit’s Kart World to test their driving skills.

“The courses are so popular that we had a selection process to choose the lucky 20,” said Yao Zhong, head master of Fangtai Primary School. “I hope the sport can build students’ willpower. It will be great if we can also spot some future talent.”

Fangtai grade-three student Zhang Yuxuan is among the 20 and has never tried driving a kart car before.

“I watch F1 races on TV very often and I like cars. Having a chance to drive myself makes me so excited,” she told Shanghai Daily.

The project began in Jiading, home to Shanghai SAIC International Circuit and the Shanghai International Automobile City.

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