Dagenham go-kart kid, 10, hopes to follow in footsteps of Formula 1 greats

PUBLISHED: 14:00 28 November 2018

Go-kart kid Emily Jackson. Picture: Family handout

Go-kart kid Emily Jackson. Picture: Family handout

Family handout

At age 10, most children spend their time tackling times tables, not tearing up racetracks.

But not little Emily Jackson, of Longhayes Avenue, Dagenham, who’s making her name for herself in the high-octane world of go-karting.

Since attending a ‘daddy-daughter’ day at a Brentwood track two and a half years ago, the chequered flag caught her eye and she now dreams of following her idol, Ayrton Senna, into Formula 1.

“From the very first time I sat in a go-kart I felt the bug and haven’t lost it since,” she said.

“I am now the proud owner of my very own kart powered by an engine named after me, ‘Bumpy’ [her nickname].”

Emily with her go-kart. Picture: Family handoutEmily with her go-kart. Picture: Family handout

The Marks Gate Junior School pupil practices every weekend and even competes for Hertfordshire-based team Cutting Edge Racing.

Outside of burning rubber, the tiny trailblazer said she enjoys keeping active and building Lego. Her collection, she adds, is “growing nicely”.

Snaking through bends at 60 miles an hour is a thrill if you’re behind the wheel, but an anxious watch for your parents in the pits.

“There’s been a few incidents where she has had crashes, and that’s when you say: ‘Oh, God’,” laughed mum Amy Beddoe, 32.

“She’s had the kart go on top of her, and she’s just wanted to carry on.

“It was a few months back but she’s always just carried on: no fear.”

With her daughter making the testing transition from corporate karts to a racer of her own, the family have had to swot up on vehicle set ups, repair and maintenance.

Emily has also passed her ARCS, a test allowing her to compete in races regulated by the governing body for four-wheeled motorsports, Motorsport UK.

With karting’s costly and time-consuming commitments, Emily seeks sponsors to help her prove “girls can achieve as much as boys”.

Only five per cent of drivers licensed with Motorsport UK are women, she said. “I want this to change.”

Funds would help maintain her kart, ensure her engine runs at peak performance, travel with the team and gain much-needed experience in the driver’s seat.

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