Fourteen-year-old Olivier Mrak has a need for speed and its about to take him to Italy and Bahrain. The Orléans teen has been competing in kart racing since 2018 with the encourage-ment of his father Andreas, who always dreamed of racing himself. The first year was spent practicing and getting used to the sport.
In 2019, Olivier started to compete at the cadet level, where he remained until the end of the 2020 karting season.
|Olivier Mrak with his father Andreas, above, and behind the wheel of his Rotax Max Junior kart. PHOTOS SUPPLIED|
In the summer of 2021, he graduated to the Rotax Minimax category for kids aged 9 to 12. Rotax is a kart racing series organized by the manufacture and distributors of Rotax kart products. Competition takes place on a club, national and international level which culminates once a year in the Grand Finals.
In August of 2022, Olivier traveled to Indiana to compete in an international event and then in April of this year, he raced in the Rotax Max Junior category in Montréal and placed second.
With each successive category, the engines get bigger and the karts get faster. But with each category also comes a learning period to get used of the competition, because with successive category the competition gets more intense and the competition gets more aggressive as Andreas Mrak explains.
“Olivier is always very fast in qualifying and he usually ends up on the front row at the start or the second row, but as a first-year junior, he’s not used to all the contact you have in the junior racing,” says Andreas, who knows a thing or two about fast cars as the owner of Mark Motors. “He knows how to wiggle his way through traffic to get to the front. Unfortunately, that also makes him a target sometimes.”
In August, Olivier managed to avoid any serious contact and placed fourth at the Rotax Max Junior race in Hamilton.
Between his qualifying results and his race results, Olivier earned enough points to win one of three tickets to the World Championships in Bahrain later this month.
According to Andreas Mrak, the event in Bahrain is first class with the entrants even getting to race their karts on parts of the Formula 1 track in Bahrain. The organizers provide the karts and a maintenance area for each racer.
When he gets there, Olivier will face some pretty tough competition. With more than 75 karts entered in his category alone, it would be a huge achievement just to make the final.
Olivier’s father is hoping his son will employ the proper balance of coolness on the track to avoid any possible contact, along with the proper level of aggression when he needs to move up through the pack.
“Often times it’s not the fastest kart that wins the race, but the one that’s able to avoid all the craziness. You don’t have to be the fastest, you have to be the smartest,” says Mrak..