KARTING CHAMPION RONAN MCKENZIE started his career in 2006 a third-hand kart he received from his dad on his 8th birthday. Ronan, from the "motorsport valley" of Northamptonshire just a few miles away from Silverstone Circuit, has a promising career ahead of him as a racing driver.
Between the ages of 8 and 12 he become a highly experienced driver both in the UK and Europe, in the Cadet 60cc and Junior 100cc classes, picking up numerous trophies and three national UK karting titles along the way, with his Dad as mechanic.
Ronan became the first Associate Driver of Cranfield University's prestigious Motorsport Programme in 2011, where he assists with University events and engages with the students on the course who are destined to become the F1 engineers of tomorrow.
After spending over two years on kart manufacturing giant Birel's young driver program in Easykart, Ronan was forced to decline their part-funded works drive offer for 2012 in the premier class of Junior karting, 125cc KF3, after being unable to raise the required budget.
At the eleventh hour Ronan, then aged just 13, secured a team sponsored drive in April 2012 to compete in the MSA Super One KF3 British Championship. Ronan was one of the youngest competitors in the class for 13-17 year olds, screened on Motors UK TV on Sky TV. Ronan finished 13th overall in the championship - which was quite an achievement for a rookie driver and a great experience. Sadly, the team that Ronan was with ceased operations, leaving Ronan without a drive in the KF3 class for 2013.
Undeterred, Ronan, who has just turned 15, is switching to the Junior Rotax 125cc class this year in the nine-round Stars at Whilton Mill Championship thanks to his sponsor PIL Gritblast and local team Kart-Tek Racing, and his dad is back as his mechanic. He is currently 4th in the championship out of 47 entrants.
Photos: © RonanMcKenzie.com