13-Year-Old Nigerian American, Ugo Ugochukwu wins World Karting Championship, signs long term deal with McLaren

13-year old Ugo Ugochukwu becomes the first Nigerian American to win a world karting championship, and get signed to a long term deal by British Motor Raving Team, McLaren to race in Formula 1 when he grows older. 

This was disclosed by McLaren via its Twitter handle on Monday.

The FIA European Karting champion was signed at the same age as the famous Lewis Hamilton.

Ugochukwu has won a host of titles since he began karting in 2013 and last year won the FIA OKJ European Championship.

We've been watching Ugo's progress with interest, so when the opportunity to sign an agreement with him became available, we had no hesitation moving on it," said McLaren chief executive Zak Brown.

Now we'll focus on giving Ugo the right support when he needs it to help him fulfil his potential.

Ugochukwu has already competed in both the United States and Europe and is currently in the OK Senior class of karting.

I'm honoured to be signed by such an iconic team as McLaren Racing so early in my career, said the 13-year-old.
To have the support of McLaren is fantastic and what any young driver dreams of. I'm focused right now on developing as a driver and racer, so having McLaren by my side can only help me on and off the track.

McLaren famously signed Lewis Hamilton when he was 13 after an impressive start to his racing career. The Briton went on to enter F1 with the Woking team and won his first world F1 world title with them in 2008 aged 23.

Team boss Andreas Seidl said: 

[Ugochukwu's] signing reflects our refocused approach to identifying and supporting new talent, away from a formal young driver programme to a more tailored basis.

In February, Ugochukwu was signed to the same management firm as current McLaren race driver Lando Norris.

Ugo Ugochukwu, a future star?

Ugo was born in New York City on April 23, 2007. While his mother being a Nigerian, Ugo will represent the United States through his career in racing.

Ugo, as of now, is competing in the Karting series and is yet to hit the much-powerful single-seaters. However, it looks like the day could come very soon considering he now possesses massive backing from McLaren.

The American teen hit the spotlight recently after lifting the title in the racing series, FIA OK-Junior European championship.

Consequently, this year, Ugo is competing in the senior category of the OK European Championship. Only this time, he is driving an IAME-powered Kart Republic chassis of the Sauber Orlen Karting Team.

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