Hilton College boy is world champ

2014-09-25 00:00

TORRENTIAL rain and a prosthetic leg proved to be no obstacle for Hilton College pupil Jonathan Wing (17).

He took the 2014 World Handikart Championship title at the CIK world championship event in Essay, France, at the weekend.

Motorsport SA, who sponsored Wing’s trip, said he had never dropped lower than third place during the qualifying heats, and then “paced himself to save tyres, and kept his cards very close to his chest in order to save the best for last”.

Despite producing some of the fastest laps in the weekend’s foray, he had entered the final phase of the competition as a rank outsider.

The teenager — injured in a lawnmower accident when he was just seven years old — is the only kart racing driver in South Africa who races with a prosthetic leg against able-bodied competitors.

He was in Paris waiting for his flight home this week accompanied by a family friend and veteran kart racer, Scott Falconer.

Falconer accompanied him as his race engineer.

His dad, Craig, said his son’s interest in flying, canoeing, rifle shooting and motor racing ensured he was “far too busy” to dwell on his disability.

Wing also featured in The Witness in July 2013 when he took his first solo flight in a light aircraft from the PMB Aero Club, and just a few months ago he was part of a South African canoeing team to compete in the World Sprint Canoeing Championships in Moscow.

Craig Wing said he was grateful to Zanardi SA and CRG Holland, as well as Motorsport SA, for sponsoring his son’s trip and the kart required for his racing in France.

He added that Hilton College has “been wonderful” and always supported his son in his chosen sports, even though motor sport was not offered by the school.

He said “Jono” had ridden motorbikes on their farm all his life and following his accident, he had continued to do so. When he was 10 years old a friend had suggested that he ought to try karting and he had “never looked back”.

“With the close support of his mother, Michele, and older sister, Kristen, he has excelled in everything he has tackled,” said Wing.

Keith Fairweather, director of marketing at Hilton College, said the school is very proud of Jono. “Not only is he a talented young sportsman but he is a gentleman. Jono epitomises a Hilton College boy in that he is passionate about what he does. What impresses me most about Jono is that he has a warm heart, is kind and caring. That makes him a real leader and a role-model,” said Fairweather.

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