Malaysia’s karting sensation, Muizzuddin Musyaffa Abdul Gafar, or just Muizz, will be flying the ‘Jalur Gemilang’ at the 2015 CIK-FIA World Championship at La Conca, Italy next week and has pledged to make the nation proud.
The 13-year old Muizz, who will be competing in the KF Junior category for karters aged between 13 and 15 years old, however, acknowledged that he faces a mountainous task with a grid of more than 100 karters from all over the world had confirmed entry for the class.
“It’s 103 karters actually; and all are hot shots karters. Most of them will not just be older and bigger than me; but have more experience competing in this class. I started the KF Junior only this season. It will not be easy; but I aim to do my best. This is a big tournament for me and I want to do well. Actually, I have been waiting for this opportunity to compete in the world championship for many years. I am very happy to have this opportunity and very excited to race,” said Muizz, who left Kuala Lumpur yesterday (14 September) for Italy. Dominating in the previous 60 Mini class for karters below 12 last season, Muizz created sensation when he won the World Karting Series (WSK) Champions Cup overall title and the vice-champion crown in the WSK Masters Series last year. His splendid achievement earned him the Best Young Athlete Award at the Sportwriters Association of Malaysia (SAM) award.
Moving up to the KF Junior category this year, Muizz started well to score third placing in the season-opener Vega Winter International. However, results in the WSK Champions Cup and the WSK Super Masters Series have been below expectation.
“It is very different from the 60 Mini class. Karters in the KF Junior category are far more aggressive. Sometimes, I think they just hit other karters on purpose. Most of them are in their second and final year for the class; and they are more experience. The karts are also different. They are not just more powerful; but also more technical as you have to manage the engine yourself while driving.
“For most parts of the 2015 season, I was learning to master the kart. It’s also hard to be rookie in the class especially when competing in a big field. My times in qualifying have been good; but when come to the race, there’re always setbacks and issues. I have not been lucky in so many races,” said Muiz, who came to Europe to race competitively at the age of nine.
In the two legs of the WSK Champions Cup, Muizz finished 23rd and 24th for Round 1 and 2 respectively. In the two rounds of the WSK Super Master Series, he was involved in incidents and failed to qualify for the finals.
Muizz competed in the opening leg of the CIK-FIA European Championship in Portimao, Portugal in May but did not perform well. He was forced to skip the second round in Brandon, Britain in June as he was unwell and the team decided not to compete in the third and final round in Kristianstad, Sweden, scheduled on July 26.
“It is all in the past now. I would not want to think too much about those races. Most important is to focus on the world championship at La Conca. I am joining the other riders for testing at La Conca. We will test and train for three days from 17 September to 19 September. We, then, race on the next weekend.
“Actually, I have not been karting for quite some time. Most of the time, I work on my fitness and strength. My family says that I think I need to be a little heavier to compete better. They may be right. The other karters are bigger size,” added Muizz.