Jamaica Gleaner
Published: Sunday | January 13, 2013
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Austrian go-karter visits Jamaica
Peter Rae (left) chats with Ferdinand Habsburg, go-karter and international teenage ambassador for alcohol abuse, at the Palisadoes International Raceway in Kingston. - Rudolph Brown/Photographer
Glenroy Sinclair, Assignment Coordinator

After a few leisurely laps around the Palisadoes International Raceway, Kingston, last weekend, 15 year-old Ferdinand Habsburg, now has his sights set on making his racing debut there very soon.

Habsburg is one of the top European go-karters in his age group.

"I honestly didn't know the potential of Jamaican race track until I got here, and it's a really really awesome track," Habsburg told Automotives.

His trip to Jamaica came shortly after he met the Jamaican contingent at the World Karting Championship, which concluded in Portugal last month. Thomas Issa and Collin Daley Jr represented Jamaica there. Like the Jamaicans, Habsburg had an accident on the track and did not made it beyond the pre-finals.

According to the teenager, though the Palisadoes International Raceway needs more resources to host a major championship, he believes the facility is a "really good track".

In an interview at the track last Sunday, Habsburg said he will be tackling some serious issues as he embarks on his new role as international teenage ambassador on alcohol abuse effective next month. He has recommended that policymakers in Jamaica go into schools and take a more radical approach in tackling alcohol abuse.

Currently, Habsburg is making preparation for the Formula Renault series, which will be held in New Zealand next year. "I have a huge goal. It's really a life goal that I really want to achieve and I'm getting a glimpse of it, I have huge hopes of going into Formula cars. I have been meeting a lot of persons, because its my biggest dream. I specifically want to go into Formula One race-car driving; that's the highest anyone can go and I really hope I can make it," said Habsburg.

Neil Williams, president of the Jamaica Karting Association (JKA) described Habsburg as a very good driver who would love to come to Jamaica and race. The JKA is hoping to stage an international race meet in the summer and Habsburg could be among the international competitors.

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