David Barbosa in action — the kart racer wants to help inspire enjoyment in the sport among young Bermudians.
David Barbosa in action — the kart racer wants to help inspire enjoyment in the sport among young Bermudians.

FRIDAY, JANUARY 25: Imagine as a little boy waking up on Christmas morning and finding out your uncle had given you a go-kart.

It could be the best Christmas ever.

For Jake Pereira, eight, that dream came true when uncle David Barbosa gifted him a kart.

Young Jake will be taking to the Bermuda Motor Sports Park on Sunday for the first time as a fully-fledged racer.

“My nephew should be out for the next race day and the competition should be there. He did one race with a rental kart but I got him one for Christmas and he should enjoy it.”

The Bermuda Karting Club has a programme where people can pay $50 to do a trial race to see if they like the sport enough to get into it.

“He talked about it when he got home, so I surprised him with it over Christmas.”

Barbosa said he wants to help instill an enjoyment of the sport in the younger generation.

“We really have to get a good programme going for the juniors ad make it grow — that’s my main goal to help the next generation.”

Barbosa is second in the Touch and Go Class (TAG) with 454 points, just 22 behind leader Scott Barnes.

He said what he likes most about karting is the competition. 

“It is very, very strong. We can compete overseas at any time and still win races.”

Barnes has often swept all three heats on race day and Barbosa said his strategy is “just staying close to him. My main struggle right now is the weight difference. 

“Between my weight and his weight is 45 pounds. With him being a lighter person, I’m a heavier driver. Even with that, I’ve been doing pretty well with it.”

He said while most people see the guys out in their karts on Sunday, there is a lot of prep work that goes into to making sure they are ready to run.

“It’s a constant maintenance. If you want to be competitive at the top level, you have to do your homework.”

He said that includes changing gears, tyres, chains, bearings, and pistons. 

“There’s a lot of internal stuff that needs to be changed constantly.

The veteran driver has raced all over Bermuda as the track has moved from location to location, but would his love for the sport would see him follow karting’s early nomadic existence.

Barbosa said: “I’ve been karting for just over 20 years now. I started up at NOB, then we went to Southside and now we’re at Clearwater. 

“It’s been a long road, but it’s enjoyable. “Now that there are more kids involved, the sport is growing in a positive way as the competition is there. This is just great.”