Okinawan schoolboy to race at kart world championship team
15-year-old Hibiki Taira, a student at Ageda Junior High School, was selected as one of the two members of the Japanese national junior class team for the kart racing world championships scheduled to take place this November in Portugal. The junior team members must be under age of the second grade of high school.
This is the first time for a racer from Okinawa to be selected for the championship team. The championship race is officially called Junior Max of Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals.
The participants for the world championships are selected from racers in 135 counties around the world, who are the winners of their domestic tournaments. Taira started kart racing when he was 5 years old, and has developed his skills ever since he went to a racing school in Yomitan when he was 6 years old. Last year he lost the final qualifiers in the national race.
In an interview with the Ryukyu Shinpo newspaper, Taira said, “I am so glad to have achieved my goal. I would like to enjoy the atmosphere at the championships without getting too conscious about the outcome.”