PROFILE: Meet go-kart driver Enrique De Leon
This Saturday’s (December 16) Georgetown Grand Prix is set to attract a host of foreign competitors, with drivers coming from Barbados, Canada, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago.
One of the young drivers set to light up the GT Motorsports track is 16-year-old Enrique De Leon of Trinidad and Tobago. Learn more about Enrique in this profile.
At the age of eight, young Enrique De Leon, born September 21, 2001, became a member of the Trinidad and Tobago Karting Association and commenced his racing career in the Cadet Class. As a Rookie, he had to start at the back in the first three events. In spite of this, he obtained a third place in his second event and a second in the third event.
At the end of the 2010 racing season, after 10 race meetings, he obtained one first place trophy, three second place trophies and one third place trophy. This ensured that he gained enough points to earn second place in the end of year Championship in the Cadet Class.
In 2011, he continued his winning ways and excelled in the Cadet Class, earning eight first place and two second place trophies out of the ten-carded events. This consistently outstanding performance ensured him winning the Championship in the Cadet Class. He also earned the overall highest points in all the Classes amongst all competitors throughout the year.
In 2012, Enrique moved up to the Mini Max Class and once again showed his driving abilities by becoming the Champion in that class. In 2013, he moved up to Junior Max Class, but he did not race for most of the season. In the three races he ran, he had one first place and two second place trophies.
Enrique was back to racing again in 2014 in the Junior Max Class and was race Champion for that year. Once again in 2015 he was awarded first place overall in the Junior Max class.
Also, in July 2015 Enrique participated in a race meet in Buckmore Park Karting Circuit in the United Kingdom. He had a practice day before the race meeting and was the fastest on the track. On the race day, he finished fourth after three heats.
In December 2015, Enrique was in Miami and he practiced on the Opa Locka race track as well as the famous Homestead race track. Whilst at the Homestead race track he had the good fortune to meet with the twice Formula One Racing Champion in the 70’s Emerson Fittipaldi.
Enrique was nominated by the Trinidad and Tobago Karting Association to receive a Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) Americas award for his achievement in karting. The award ceremony took place in Panama on January 16, 2016. This was a gala event and Trinidad and Tobago was the only Caribbean country to have attended the awards.
This was a great achievement for Enrique and it is something he will remember throughout his life. In May 2016, Enrique participated in a ROKCUPUSA race meeting at Homestead, Florida. He finished 12th out of 24 participants in the Junior Class.
In September 2016, Enrique participated in a race meeting at Bushy Park, Barbados, where he took second place at the end of the day. Enrique continues to race in Trinidad and has now moved into the Rotax International Class, competing against adults in the class.
In August 2017, Enrique competed in the MSA Kartmasters British Grand Prix in Lincolnshire in the United Kingdom. He participated in the X30 Junior Class, which had 54 competitors. Due to the large number of participants, they were put into groups to race. Enrique managed to get into the finals of the B Group, but did not make it to the Grand Prix.