Wednesday October 10, 2012
Young karter Muizzuddin out for the season
By LIM TEIK HUAT
PETALING JAYA: The season is over for Malaysia’s young international karter Muizzuddin Musyaffa Abdul Gafar after he broke his right leg in a crash at the WSK Finals Cup in Castelleto, Italy, last weekend.
The 10-year-old, jostling for prime positions with 35 other karters in the mini-60 category, was flung into the air after his kart bumped into the side of rival karter Noah Watt before the machine landed on his right leg.
Muizzuddin, whose parents were watching from the stands, was rushed to the Medical Centre for medical attention before being sent to the hospital for further treatment, where his worst fears were confirmed.
“The doctors have advised him to rest for at least a month. That means his season is over. Muizz will miss the next three events,” said Muizzuddin’s team manager Zainuddin Radzi.
The three events are the 2012 ROK Cup World Finals at Lonato near Milan this weekend; the Trophio dell Industry at the same venue the following weekend; and the season-ending WSK Championship in Udine (Nov 13-14).
“Knowing Muizz, he must be totally distraught. I really feel sad for the kid. Hopefully, he recovers soon and we can start working for next season,” said Zainuddin, who has been Muizzuddin’s personal coach since the Kuala Lumpur lad began karting three years ago before moving to Italy to join Gamoto Racing Team.
Zainuddin believes that Muizzuddin, who is now resting at his parent’s rented apartment in Sicily, was trying to push for a front row start at the qualifying session in Castelleto.
“Things were actually going well for Muizz. He was already among the top five and was actually on P3 at one stage. But with three minutes to go before the end of the session, Muizz tried to get past Watt, who was working hard to defend his line.
“Their karts collided, sending Muizz’s kart flying into the air. It then fell on Muizz’s right leg. It’s unfortunate for Muizz. I don’t think he was trying anything extraordinary. But these things happen in racing,” said Zainuddin, who expects Muizzuddin to return home soon to recuperate.
Muizzuddin made a bold decision at the beginning of the year to leave his comfort zone and compete full-time in Italy, including in the CSAI Italian Karting Championship, the WSK series and several other major meets.
He made a big impression when he won the rookie crown at Italy’s prestigious go-kart competition for the country’s license holders – the 2012 ROK Cup Italia Finals last month.
Competing in the 43-driver mini-60 category at the di Sienna International Circuit in Castelnuova, Sienna, Muizzuddin stunned his rivals – including some 13-year-olds – to lead the field for the first eight laps of the 12-lap contest before finishing third to qualify for the Finals this weekend.
With a 40-point total, Muizzuddin finished the season 13th overall in a field of 37 karters. Italian Leonardo Lorandi topped the five-round championship with an amazing 206 points.
“We can still be proud of Muizz’s achievements. Remember, this is only his first season in Italy. This is a very competitive championship, with the participation of top karters from Europe and the United States,” said Zainuddin.
“Many see this championship as the No. 1 go-kart championship in the world in terms of gaining exposure and experience and testing their skills. That’s why we put Muizz here. We must also not forget that he is only 10 and is competing against older karters, including 13-year-olds, which is the maximum age for this Mini-60 category.”