At just 10 years old, Maverick Meyer is used to going fast. In his second year of go-kart racing, he says that is part of the appeal of the sport.
“Just the thrill of trying to get a better place than the last race I did. And going very fast,” he said.
Meyer first started racing at the now closed Erbsville Kartway before joining the Waterloo Regional Kart Club, with whom he races with at the Flamboro Speedway near Dundas.
After finishing eighth last year out of 24 karts in the cadet class, they are aiming for a fifth-place finish this year, said Maverick’s dad Rob, noting they’ve made some improvements to the kart Maverick drove last year.
“It’s been completely rebuilt so, it’s a lot more competitive,” Rob explained.
“We have a guy that is doing our chassis setup and does our engines this year, where last year we didn’t. Hopefully, everything’s going to be dialed in. The chassis is basically like a street car, like a regular racecar. There is all kinds of setups with it, different gearing. There’s lots of different things that go on with these things,” Rob said.
While karts in his group can reach anywhere between 80 and around 90 km/h, Maverick said he is not scared at all – “You’ve just got to drive it safely enough so you’re not crashing.” Instead, he is focusing on having a good race.
“I just gotta make the turns right and try and get a good, top finish at the end,” he said.
The number 87 kart that he drives is the same size as what adult drivers use, with a few restrictions, Rob explained.
“There are restrictors for the carburetors for the different age groups. You can start at eight years old and you have an adult class. Now, the adult class really goes fast – there are so many different variables with these things. It’s very technical.”
The sport is much more popular than people realize, Rob added.
“The actual professional go-karting club that we’re doing here is really big. He can race anywhere in Canada. They have tracks everywhere down in the States. It’s really big over in Europe,” Rob said.
“[People] think when you say go-karting it’s like fun, fun, fun. No, this is actual serious racing. These things are fairly expensive. They’re not just something you just want to try. That go-kart there is worth maybe about $8,000, when it’s race ready” he added.
Maverick races every Saturday during the summer months except on long weekends.