Introducing Monde-Jnr Konini: The 8-year-old already taking on top karters

@MNmotorsport

DRIVER PROMOTION

For any driver attempting to work their way up the racing ladder, it is always a challenge when competing against racers that are much older than you. But that is even more difficult when you are as many as five years younger than the drivers you are battling with in a competitive karting series.

That was the case this season for Monde-Jnr Konini. He was racing in the Super One IAME Cadet class aged just eight. Some of his rivals were as old as 13. Konini finished 27th in the standings this year, but the results weren’t too important – instead it was more about gaining experience.

“It’s very difficult and challenging,” admits Konini about the task of racing against much older competitors. But this is a driver who clearly enjoys that challenge. He has only been racing in karts for two years, so to take a best final result of 19th this year is an impressive achievement. His karting journey, like many, began with a birthday.

“My mum took me karting for my sixth birthday and I really liked it,” says Konini, who has dual British and South African nationality after being born in the UK but with both of his parents originally from South Africa.

Konini graduated to Super One IAME Cadet this year with Strawberry. Pic: Chris Walker

That birthday sparked a love for the sport and he quickly marked himself out as a star of the future. In 2016 he won the British BKC karting title and was runner-up in the MSA Bambino series. And it was that level of success that suggested he was ready for an early rise up the ranks.

This year he has been competing for the successful Strawberry Racing squad and Konini is relishing the chance to work with a top team.

“They help me in lots of different aspects,” he says. “They take me on lots of track walks and show me other people’s cameras to help me to do the really good lines, and we look at lots of data.”

Another company that has recognised Konini as a star of the future is DNAFit. The organisation works with sports people and looks at an individual’s genetics to produce bespoke training and dietary plans to improve their fitness. Many successful sports stars are on the company’s books, including Olympic long-jumper Greg Rutherford.

“We focus on research and the relationship of genetics [on sport],” says founder Avi Lasarow, who is also of South African descent. “But it’s important to say that genetics isn’t everything. It’s about understanding your body in a way no-one has before.”

While Konini is too young to yet have benefited from the company’s research, it has proved to have success elsewhere. “We’re really starting to have an impact,” says Lasarow. “We’re working with the Egyptian national football team and they have qualified for the World Cup finals for the first time since 1990.

“It’s not just about finding [existing] talents, but I would like to work with talents that will emerge. MJ is a great new talent and we would like to support him. It’s about associating our brand with a future leader – we are sure he will be super-successful and a great driver so we have an association with him from an early age.”

Konini himself is targeting a graduation to the very top of the sport. “I would like to be a Formula 1 driver, but if I can’t make it to F1 I would like to do GT3 racing,” he says. In the more immediate future, it’s about him getting as much experience as possible. Although the main Super One season has finished, Konini will continue competing during the coming months in events such as the Trent Valley Kart Club’s Winter Series at PFi. Depending on results, he is likely to remain in the IAME Cadet class until he’s 11 and ready to make his next move.

And if he can continue his remarkable rate of progress, then Konini could be a name that everyone is talking about in years to come.

Konini is now looking for new sponsors and partners to help support him in the next stage of his career. Next year he will race in Super One, LGM and in the Kartmasters GP.

Konini achieved success in Bambino karting, winning British BKC title. Pic: Chris Walker

Profile

Age: 8

Lives: Broxburn, West Lothians, Scotland

Results

2017

27th in Super One IAME Cadet

2016

First in British Bambino Karting Championship 

Second in MSA Bambino Karting Championship

First in Super One Bambino Trophy at Llandow

Recent news

Column

Who I have my money on for the BTCC title

By Matt James

Rallying News

Citroen: Meeke was 'not under control'

Citroen World Rally team principal Pierre Budar felt Kris Meeke was out of control and left...

Karting: The secrets to PF International

As part of our special investigation into the world of karting, we got former karting star and...

Racing News

BTCC driver Moffat quits TCR UK

British Touring Car Championship driver Aiden Moffat has exited the TCR UK championship, with...

Racing News

Historic FFord driver saved from fiery crash

Historic Formula Ford driver Nelson Rowe credited two spectators and a competitor for saving...

Rallying News

Citroen: C3 design saved Meeke in crash

Citroen team principal Pierre Budar believes the design of the manufacturer's C3 World Rally...

Rallying News

Triple ERC champion makes WRC2 move

Reigning three-time European Rally champion Kajetan Kajetanowicz will move into the World Rally...

Column

Silverstone's rallycross adventure

By Matt James

Taking on the European karting scene

The international karting paddock has witnessed its fair share of talented British drivers in...

Rallying News

Electric Mitsubishi rally car being developed

Swedish outfit Mpart has started developing an electric Mitsubishi rally car built around R5...

Rallying News

New WRC GB route a missed opportunity - Evans

Last year's Rally GB winner Elfyn Evans feels the revamped route for Wales' 2018 World Rally...

Rallying News

Rally seeding rules relaxed

Two-wheel drive and historic rally cars will be able to run first on the road on rally events...

Rallying News

MN Road Rally legends to attend Speed and Rally Show forum

Legends of the Motoring News Road Rally Championship will attend a forum at this weekend’s...

Rallying News

New push to get privateers back in WRC

World Rally Championship organisers are mounting a new push to get privateers back in the series'...

Rallying News

Toyota rules out team orders to boost Tanak

Toyota team principal Tommi Makinen has ruled out making Ott Tanak a clear number one and imposing...

Exploring karting's family tree

It’s commonly defined by professional racing drivers as the purest form of motorsport. It’s...

Rallying News

Kelly to make surprise Killarney return

Manus Kelly will make a surprise visit to the International Rally of the Lakes in Killarney...

Rallying News

Rally GB to unveil major route revamp

A significantly different route for Rally GB 2018, Britain's World Rally Championship round,...

Rallying News

Rovanpera hospitalised after Argentina crash

Kalle Rovanpera was hospitalised for checks after crashing out of the Rally Argentina WRC2 lead...

Rallying News

Ford sets out conditions for works RX return

Ford wants to see how the future of rallycross develops amid changes in America and plans for...

Racing News

Ingram takes victory in Donington Race 2

Tom Ingram became the first two-time winner in this season's British Touring Car Championship...

Racing News

Cook claims maiden BTCC victory

Josh Cook has broken his victory duck in the British Touring Car Championship, taking his Power...

1 2 3 52

More national news, in-depth race reports and analysis. Subscribe to the Motorsport News paper today.

What’s On

This weekend

No Events

Later

No Events

This weekend

No Events

Later

No Events

X