Sirgany secures two podium finishes at FWT champs
Glenroy Sinclair, Assignment Coordinator
While some Jamaicans were expressing disappointment in the failed attempt by skier Errol Kerr to qualify for the men's skicross freestyle final at the 25th Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada, on Sunday, a bundle of other Jamaicans were jubilated; celebrating the performance of nine-year-old karter, Joshua Sirgany, at the Florida Winter Tour (FWT) championship in Miami.
Competing in two go-kart finals in the highly competitive Micro Max Class, the Hillel Academy schoolboy finished third in both events - a podium finish that left his rivals stunned - at the Palm Beach International Raceway.
"It was a tough and aggressive field. He went up against some of the best in Central and North America," commented Ricky Sirgany, Joshua's father.
He said Joshua drove extremely superb on Saturday and based on points, he looks set to finish in the top 10 when the championship concludes next month in Ocala.
"We missed out on what we wanted at the Rotax Grand National but two podium finishes at the FWT is really good," the elder Sirgany added.
According to the Jamaica Karting Association (JKA) recent records, this is the biggest accomplishment by any Jamaican in an international karting event.
Joshua's finishes bettered the performance of Timothy Stewart, who won the pre-final of the Junior Class at the 2006 Rotax Finals, which was held in Portugal.
A report on
said it was a diminutive Venezuelan, Sebastian Fernandez, who dominated the Micro Max proceedings last Saturday. Fernandez took his Birel kart to a strong victory, as he took over the top spot on lap four from pole sitter and early leader, Jamaica's Sirgany.
The Venezuelan then proceeded to speed away from the field, while points leader Anthony Gangi recovered from an early mishap to finish second.
Sirgany grabbed the final podium spot, while Gian Franco Mazzaferro and Kami Moreira-Laliberte rounded out the top five.
Young Sirgany defeated people like Enzo Fittipaldi De Cruz and Ian Rodrigues, who competed at last year's JKA International race meet. Fittipaldi is the grandson of Emerson Fittipaldi, the two-time Formula One world champion of the Indy Car series.
Dr Mark Minott, who travelled with the karters, said the team gave an awesome performance. He explained that during the two-day event, young Sirgany was consistent in finishing in the top 10.
He stressed that Thomas Issa of Campion College also had a good meet, but was unfortunate not to have competed in the finals of the Mini-Max Class. He had two accidents.
Matthew Williams, who went up against familiar faces such as Pietro Fittipaldi and Jesus Rios Jr, also missed out on qualifying for the Rotax Junior Class finals.
Apart from Sirgany, one of the biggest surprise of the meet was the performance of Adam Minott, who finished 12th in the Micro Max finals on Sunday.