Malaysian teenage go-kart sensation Muizzuddin Musyaffa Abdul Gafar has opened his 2015 season in commendable style as he scored a podium finish at the Vega International Winter Trophy, held at Adria Karting Raceway in northern Italy yesterday (Sunday, 18 January 2015).
Competing in the KF Junior class for the first time, the young Malaysian finished third behind senior drivers, Russian Artem Petrov and Ye Yi of China, who took first and second respectively in this first event of 2015, which is organised by World Karting Series Promotions (WSK).
Muizzuddin, who will turn 13 on February 23 and better known as only Muizz around the paddock, was constantly in the top bracket for every session including topping the chart in Sunday’s morning warm-up session with a time of 50.533 seconds around the 1,289 meter track.
Winner of the World Karting Series (WSK) Champions Cup and second overall in the WSK Master Series for the 60 mini class last year, the Gamoto Racing driver was sixth in the pre-final on his Vortex-engine; earning a place in the third row for the final race.
Despite the commendable start for the 2015 season, team manager Salvatore Gamoto threw caution of any high expectations on the Cheras-born karter in the upcoming races.
“We are very pleased with Muizz’s performance. He had made good progress in transition from the 60 Mini class to the KF Junior class. They are different machines all together with very different driving style and racing requirement. Unlike the 60 Mini class, the driver will need to manage the kart as well from the running of the carburetor to the fuel flow while driving the kart and keeping an eye on his rivals. There’s plenty of race strategy and technical understanding.
“Muizz had done very well so far. But, there’s plenty more that he would need to master. All these will only come with lots of driving time and experience. He still needs a lot of racing time around his belt. Remember, he will be competing with drivers who had competed in this class last season. Some will even be in their third year. Muizz is only the rookie and still learning.
“Despite being competitive, this event at Adria remains only as a warm-up tournament for all the competing teams and drivers. They are still trying to familiarize with the machines and the competition. The real test will come in two weeks’ time at the opening round of the WSK Champions Cup at La Conca. We hope that we will be equally successful,” Gamoto said.
Overall winner for the 60 Mini class for the Champions Cup, Muizzuddin, who is competing against drivers aged up to 15 years old, said he was targeting to remain as a champion despite the higher class, the stronger competition and his more experienced rivals.
Gamoto added: “It’s good that Muizz is always setting high targets. You need to be bold and confidence in motor racing. It is a very competitive sports and the challengers in general are aggressive and sometimes, very physical.
“But, Muizz had shown over the years that he had the qualities to succeed in this sports. He has the right attitude, he is very committed, he is very dedicated to his work and he trains very hard. We are very proud to have him in our team,” he said.
In his three years in the 60 Mini class, Muizz had scored wins and podium finishes, making him the first Malaysian to pen that kind of success on European soil. Some of his key achievements are winning the Rookie of The Year title for the ROK Cup Italy in 2012, winning two regional races in Pulgia and Sicily that year to become the first Malaysian to score a win in go-karting in Europe; and to win the WSK Champions Cup overall title and the vice-champion crown in the WSK Masters Series in 2014.
Apart from the WSK Champions Cup and the WSK Masters Series, Muizz would also be competing in the FIA CIK European Karting Championship and the FIA CIK World Karting Championship this year.
MUIZZUDDIN’S SEASON 2015 CHALLENGE
WSK CHAMPIONS CUP
Round 1: 1 February 2015 – La Conca, Italy
Round 2: 8 February 2015 – La Conca, Italy
WSK GOLD CUP
Single Race: 1 March 2015 – Adria, Italy
WSK SUPER MASTER SERIES
Round 1: 8 March 2015 – Adria, Italy
Round 2: 22 March 2015 – Castelletto, Italy
Round 3: 12 April 2015 – La Conca, Italy
Round 4: 26 April 2015 – Sarno, Italy
CIK-FIA EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP (KF/KFJ CLASSES)
Round 1: 10 May 2015 – Portimao, Portugal
Round 2: 21 June 2015 – Brandon, Britain
Round 3: 26 July 2015 – Kristianstad, Sweden
WSK NIGHT EDITION
Single Race: 4 July 2015 – Adria, Italy
CIK-FIA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
Single Race: 27 September 2015 – La Conca, Italy
WSK FINAL CUP
Single Race: 1 November 2015 – Adria, Italy
Words & Photos: Muizzracing