Young Pattaya racer aiming for the top

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Shepherd steers his Formula 4 car on the Sepang racing circuit during the F1 Grand Prix weekend in Sepang, Malaysia, Sunday, Oct. 1.
Shepherd steers his Formula 4 car on the Sepang racing circuit during the F1 Grand Prix weekend in Sepang, Malaysia, Sunday, Oct. 1.

As the current Formula 1 World Championship hurtles top speed towards an exciting conclusion, a youngster from Pattaya recently got a taste of life in the fast lane at the F1 Grand Prix weekend in Malaysia.

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Kane Shepherd, a Pattaya native born and bred, was driving in the support race for Formula 1 at the Sepang racing circuit in Malaysia in his season debut in Formula 4 cars.  He came second in his race and stood on the same podium spot that Lewis Hamilton occupied a couple of hours later.

Pattaya race driver Kane Shepherd.
Pattaya race driver Kane Shepherd.

As a kid growing up in the Pattaya area, Kane initially got into motor-racing through recreational karting at Bali Hai and the Thepprasit Road kart tracks.  He then joined a kart racing team based at Bira circuit in 2010.

In 2011, aged 10, Kane started racing in various Thai championships, winning national titles every year.  In 2013 he started international racing in the Asian Rotax Championship and won his first Asian championship in 2014, with a second back to back win in 2015.  His success in Asia qualified him for 3 Rotax World Championships at various European venues, the most recent being in 2016 in Italy where he finished overall 16th.

That same year, Kane started testing in Formula 4 cars and in early 2017 he had his first experience testing Formula 3 cars in Europe.  After a break for IGCSE’s, he is now competing in two championship series; The Asian Formula 4, with races in Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia and Thailand (Buriram), and Formula Gulf with races in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.  Subject to his success in these series, along with sponsorship opportunities, in 2018 he is planning to do the Formula 3 series in Europe and India.

Earlier in 2017, the Royal Automobile Association of Thailand (RAAT) awarded Kane with a Rising Star’ award.  He now also coaches some younger kart drivers at weekends and school holidays.

Rising star Kane Shepherd is certainly a name to watch out for in motor-racing circles.