This report was published by ANI on June 27, 2023.
India’s 11-year-old kart racer Hamza Balasinorwala of Worli, Mumbai, impressed everyone with his racing skills as he fought his way from the back to clinch the second position on the podium in the 4th Round of the IAME Asia Series, the Continent’s most prestigious X30 Championship in Sepang, Malaysia on June 27, 2023.
The Grade 6 student of Podar International School, Mumbai improved with every practice session but was hit by bad luck in the crucial qualifying round to take the twelfth position on the Cadet class grid on Monday night.
As if that was not enough, Hamza suffered another setback in Heat 1, pulling out of the race -– eventually won by Esteban Freihuber from the Philippines — in the first lap itself, his connections informed in a release on Tuesday.
Undeterred, the Rayo Racing prodigy made a strong comeback in Heat 2, overtaking several experienced racers from around Asia to finish an impressive fourth. Singapore’s Aaron Mehta won this race, ahead of Thai racer Kamolphu Anuchatkul and Freihuber.
Hamza’s resilience continued in the pre-finals, where he expertly manoeuvred through the field from a 10th-place starting position, to finish an admirable fifth place. Mehta notched up his second consecutive win while Anuchatkul and Freihuber once again took the other two places on the podium.
As the finishing order of the pre-final decides the start order for the final, the Indian racer began from fifth on the grid. Getting off to a good start, Hamza soon found his way past Singapore’s Maximilian Schilling only to be passed by another Singaporean — Michael Lederer.
Hamza exhibited exceptional skills, maintaining a consistent and impressive pace throughout and went along with Lederer up the field. The duo got past Freihuber, Mehta and Anuchatkul.
Lederer eventually took the win 2 seconds ahead of Hamza. The Indian racer’s fantastic effort saw him seal the second position, ahead of Freihuber of the Philippines.
“I am really happy to get my first international podium. I want to thank my family and team for their support,” the elated Hamza, who has already notched up multiple podiums in the IndiKarting Pro Races, said.
Rayomand Banajee, founder of Rayo Racing, said: “While this is just his third international race, this has been over one and a half years in the making. Hamza has a lot of potential and we are confident he will rise to bigger things soon. Being just 11, he has a promising future ahead.”