A 12-year-old from Ashton-under-Lyne, who has been ‘transformed’ thanks to kart racing is the latest driver to join Team X-Kart.
Jack Burgess who attends Great Academy was diagnosed with ADHD and Tourette’s syndrome when he was seven, is described by his parents as a ‘different child’ after discovering karting and has signed to Rochdale-based Team X-Kart. From an early age, Jack’s parents, Gemma and Ian, noticed that his behaviour was different to that of his peers and that he struggled in certain social situations. He has been fascinated by cars and racing for years, and finally this year, he was tall enough to try out karting for the first time at his local track. He attended a cadet session, and his natural skill was immediately apparent as he was asked to move up to an intermediate group, being too fast for the rookie cadets. He is now one of the fastest cadets at the track. Gemma and Ian came across Matty Street of TeamKarting in Rochdale, an entrepreneur and ambassador for autism awareness and got in touch to see if he could help Jack. Jack now trains regularly at TeamKarting, with Matty, who also lives with ADHD and Asperger’s serving as a mentor. Having seen Jack’s incredible speed on the track, Matty has now invited him to join Team X-Kart. Jack’s mum Gemma explains; “Jack has always seemed to have a ‘racing brain’. His knowledge and fascination for cars is just incredible, to the extent that he can stand at the side of the track, listen to the engine and tell you what kind of car is coming. He can also look at an engine and tell you the brake horse power. No one has taught him this, it just comes naturally. “He’s been waiting and waiting to be able to go karting and it’s absolutely transformed him. He’s the happiest I’ve ever seen him and he’s really found somewhere he feels comfortable. His conditions mean he has struggled to make friends, but now with Matty and TeamKarting he’s confident and surrounded by people that make him feel good about himself. Karting seems to help his concentration – he’s so determined to succeed and it releases his stress and anxiety. “I’m so proud of what he’s achieved in such a small space of time. He’s going out of his way to help the people that have supported him by fundraising for ‘Healthy Young Minds’ and I know he’s going to give everything to racing.”
Jack will continue training with Team X-Kart this year and will begin racing in the Cadet Kart Championship in 2022.