Q&A SESSION WITH HANIF

How old were you when you discovered an interest in kart racing and who and what inspired you?

I was 15 years old when I first went to the track to try out their public rental karts. I instantly gained a passion for kart racing, so the following year I joined my first ever competition, the ‘RED BULL GO KART CLONE RACING SERIES’ at the age of 16 using my own kart. My uncle, OS Lim, taught me everything I needed to know in racing as I got into the sport. I won the championship in my first official year, making me a rookie and the youngest driver to win the championship in 2018.

What was the immediate reaction from your mother?

Straight away, my mother gave me her full support. My mum said to me, ‘Do what you love and love what you do.’

It is an expensive sport. Is it worthwhile?

Yes, it‘s completely worth it because go kart racing does not just teach you to race, but helps you to be sharper with your eyes, build faster reactions and develop patience. Resilience and perseverance is the key to succeed, because not everything is bound to go your way. So it is important to always think of alternative solutions. As drivers we also learn about the physics of racing, as well as understanding the kart setup and how an engine works.

You train at the Serapi Borneo Race Track which seems a decent track with some sharp edges. How do you find it more challenging as compared to others?
Yes, for sure the track is more challenging than others. That is because the width of the track is smaller, making it harder to overtake. The track itself is bumpy in certain corners and curbs tend to be slippery. It does not contain many run off points, which means mistakes cannot be made. It is not in the best condition but it has trained me to be a better driver. The track here provides a tougher training ground which prepared me for the bigger and better tracks, as international tracks have larger widths, more runoff points and tend to be smoother. Therefore it is easier for me when I race internationally. However, if we have a proper track perhaps more youngsters will take up the sport. Hopefully Kuching will have a registered track that might help to boost tourism.

You have won several races. Tell us about your achievements so far.
2018 Red Bull Go Kart Champion
2019 Red Bull Go Kart Champion (even though there are two more races to go, I have already won the championship with my current points)
2nd place in Singapore 4-Hour Endurance race
2019 Singapore Rok Cup Driver
I want to thank my sponsors: Tecktonic & Sons Holdings, Roxy Hotel, Feast & Furious Cafe, Harmas Motorsports, Aero Wax and Alpine by EuroAuto.

What’s the fastest speed you can go in a race?

In the Red Bull Go Kart Series, our top speed is 80km/h due to track conditions. In the Rok Cup Competition, we hit a speed of 120 km/h.