IT is every boy’s dream to become a racing driver.
But for 12-year-old Sean Louden, that dream is already on course to become a reality, having recorded the fastest ever lap time at a go-karting circuit – out of 18,000 drivers.
The Leith Academy pupil is beating off competition from adults – including staff at Xtreme Karting at Newbridge – and has his sights firmly set on a career in Formula 1.
The second-year pupil only started karting around eight months ago, and is now the envy of all competitors at the race track.
His grandfather George Muir, 64, said: “He has only been racing a few months and he is now the fastest thing on four wheels.
“He just took to it, he has a natural ability for it. He has a consistency in driving and he has never spun out.
“He is certainly showing promise and wants to go into higher-level competitions.
“It’s a good focus for kids because it keeps them out of trouble. It’s good for their esteem and concentration.
“I used to race karts many years ago, but I couldn’t catch him now.”
Mr Muir, from Newhaven, has high hopes for his grandson, who is looking to take part in the forthcoming Red Bull Challenge.
Mr Muir said: “Sean has aspirations to work his way up to a Formula 1 driver.
“It can cost as much as £1000 a meeting if you’re getting serious about it, so we are trying to look for sponsors.”
Sean’s passion for karting started during a visit to Knockhill to watch the racing.
He had a shot at karting while he was there and says he has been “addicted” ever since.
Sean recorded a lap time of 28.12 seconds at the Newbridge circuit, which has been open since December last year.
Sean said: “Whenever I go to the track, they all talk about beating me, but I always beat them.
“I did my fastest time on July 5 and I’m really happy with it, but I’m going to try and get 27.
“I’m consistently getting under 28.5, which is really good. Usually, people get 31 or 32.”
Sean’s mum, Laura Louden, from Leith, said: “He is a really precise driver and is just amazing. He has only been doing it for eight months and we are hoping to get him a kart for his birthday in October.
“The marshals at the race track can’t even catch him. They all thought he was much older than he is.
“When he first started, I was quite nervous, but it doesn’t worry me now. He is like a mini celebrity at the track.”
Scott Henderson, director of Xtreme Karting at Newbridge, confirmed that Sean had the fastest lap time. He said: “I would like to think he will have a career in Formula 1 – and I hope he remembers all of us at the track when he does.”