Sophomore follows dream to become racecar driver, continues kart racing


Beique straightens out the wheel of his kart as he prepares for a race. “It takes a ton of mental ability and strength, so it’s not very easy,” Beique said

Molly Wade, Co-Web Editor

The engines start and the roar is deafening. When he speeds out of the pits, the wind snaps in his face as he whips around the corners. It takes all of his concentration and control to finish the race. This is what karting is to sophomore Connor Beique.

Go-kart racing is a motor racing sport that involves smaller race cars on smaller tracks. Beique started go-kart racing a year ago in April after attending a couple of races. So he found a cheap kart that would serve his purpose and began racing.

“I really like to drive, that’s been one of my passions for a while and I couldn’t drive because I was too young,” Beique said. “Ive sharpened my skills. It takes a ton of mental ability and strength, so it’s not very easy.”

According to Beique, racers must have quick reflexes and an even quicker mind to keep up. It is not uncommon to see five or six-year-olds racing on the track but the sport has many safety precautions to keep racers out of harm’s way although it is possible for karts to flip.

“It’s really not that dangerous,” Beique said. “The worst that could happen is that the kart flips over and at least for me, I’ve only seen one flip over and that was pretty bad.”

Upon entering the kart racing world, Beique discovered a different culture that revolved around racing. Families revolve around the track, setting up camp for the day and having cookouts together. An entire day is dedicated for all of the races occurring for each of the different categories and ages of the drivers. Families of racers set up camp at the track where they  have room to repair karts before they enter their next race.

“Those people are not messing around,” Beique said. “They bring their huge RVs. They bring their friends and make groups. I met one person who was in my same class and he’s pretty much identical to my stuff. He’s been racing a lot longer than me.”

Beique has been racing for a year but he also plays the trumpet for band. Combined, they take up most of his time. Due to this, he has decided not participate in band next school year.

“Connor is an excellent member of the band,” junior Brian Bowden said. “While it’s clear that his favoritism lies with go-karting, he doesn’t let it interfere with his commitments to the band program.”

Beique will remain in band for the rest of the year but he will make karting his primary commitment in the next school year. According to Beique, winning third place in his first race was the best experience he has had so far.

“It was just a really good day, it was my first race so I was pumped and stuff and pretty nervous,” Beique said. “We just went and we had fun.”

His father has played an important part in his racing career. Due to the high prices of gasoline, tires and general upkeep of a kart, Beique is pressured to make the most of his kart racing career.

“He’s my crew chief, he’s always been there,” Beique said. “He’s always doing something like fixing the seat or just doodlin’ around.”

Beique’s family has had to do a little bit of adapting to cope with the kart racing.

“My mom doesn’t like it very much and we’re always in the garage, taking up space,” Beique said. “But my dad really enjoys it. He’s always doing something like fixing the seat or just doodlin’ around.”

Beique’s eldest sister takes photos of him at the track but is the only sister that is really interested in what he does. Despite the pressure on him to not waste his opportunity, Beique still believes it is fun to participate in go-kart racing and plans on being serious about it for the rest of his life. He tends to keep his school life and his kart life separate.

“I don’t like to talk about it because its karting and people get the wrong idea,” Beique said. “They think of the little kiddie karts that race at festivals and stuff.”

But “kiddie karts” are not the only category of racing. Categories are divided up by class of the engine and age groups. From go-karting Beique can move onto one of three categories: Rally racing, Stock Cars and Formula 3 cars.

“I’ve been to one Formula 1 race, the race that was in Austin recently, and that was pretty intense,” Beique said.

Attending races like this, keeps up Beique’s motivation and reinforce for him that this is the sport he wants to go into. But until then, he will continue go-kart racing.

“I really want to be a race car driver and this is the first step,” Beique said.