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10-year-old Bradford racer steers his way to league scholarship

Marco Bazan recently earned himself a Go Karting scholarship at Goodwood Kartways

Ten-year-old Bradford resident Marco Bazan has a love for Go Karting and was recently awarded a scholarship at the local track, Goodwood Kartways. 

The Bradford resident's passion for Go Karting started just a few years ago after watching Formula 1 racing, but it’s quickly blossomed into an obsession, with his karting suit hanging on his wall and his race simulator in front of his bed facing the TV. 

At just six-year-old, he knew Formula 1's every racer, every race, and every kart.

“I was like okay; something is going on here. And my husband tried soccer and hockey, but nope, and ever since he was little, he’s loved cars. So, he got into Go Karting and he’s been doing it ever since," said Marco's mother, Bela Bazan. 

Marco started out racing at Goodwood Kartways in Uxbridge and registered for their “Arrive & Drive” rookie level program. 

His natural talent behind the wheel caught the eye of the owner of the track, who offered him a scholarship into their weekly league. 

"Now he’s in the actual league every Saturday and we bought him a kart from Italy that’s stored there," said Bela. 

Taking his passion from a sport he watched on TV to one he competes in every weekend has been a surreal ride for Marco.

“It feels really good,” he said. “I’ve been excited every Friday before the race on Saturday… I just can’t wait and it’s hard to fall asleep.”

There is a lot of commitment involved with the league and it can be frightening on the track—especially for his parents—but there’s nowhere Marco would rather be.

“The adrenal takes over,” said Bela. “He flipped his kart and it’s scary as a parent, but for him, even after an accident, he’s saying, ‘let’s go, let’s fix the kart right away.' He’s very quiet during the formation lap and he’s just so focused.”

“It is all the adrenal and high hopes,” Marco said. “My kart has a high speed of about 95 kilometres per hour. So, it’s all really fast.”

Marco is currently in 12th place out of 26 racers in the league and he credits that to his commitment to the sport. 

“It’s a lot of practice and a lot of sim practice,” he says. “It’s all about the practice. I’m only not even a second off the pace."

“It’s learning every angle of the track," added Bela. 

There was a moment for Marco last year when he knew he could race at a competitive level. 

“Last year, at the beginning of the year I won three races on the bounce,” he said. “And I started thinking that I could maybe get rewarded a scholarship.”

“And of course, he got it,” said Bela. “It’s been so exciting to see, but also scary. It’s exciting to see him do what he loves and see that he knows exactly what he’s doing. But then as soon as it’s race time, you kind of don’t breathe for those 12 laps. One spinout and anything can happen. And if he does spinout, it sucks since he puts in all that work, and I just feel for him because he’s livid when he comes off. But it’s so exciting to see that he’s found his passion and stuck with it."

Although he’s only 10, Marco is already thinking about the future and where he hopes he can take his love for racing.

“Long-term goals are to start getting recognized by sponsors, especially Red Bull, that’s something I really want,” he said. “In the short-term, I want to maybe start moving up a league.”

“In the short-term, he’s having fun with it,” said Bela. “Long-term, he’s still got school and if something happens, something happens.”

As Formula 1 racing continues to grow in popularity in Canada, more and more kids like Marco have gravitated to the sport because of the high stakes and the star athletes—Marco’s favourite driver is Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.

“It feels really good to teach my friends how it all works,” said Marco. “They all have racing games now. It’s amazing to see them learn about the sport, it’s a really good feeling.”