A PONTYPOOL schoolboy is aiming to put himself in pole position to become Formula One’s first deaf racing driver.
Caleb McDuff, from Talywain, was diagnosed as profoundly deaf aged just two, following a series of year infections.
Now six, he lives everyday aided by sound processers, except during his favourite pastime – karting.
The high-octane sport requires Caleb, a pupil at Nant Celyn Primary School, to remove them because of his protective helmet.
Despite this, the determined youngster, who races at G Force Karting in Little Mill, Pontypool, is aiming to race in the Bambino Kart Championship 2014.
Dad, Ian, who owns Pontypool business French Auto Solutions, said: “Whilst many of his peers may be playing Xbox or watching cartoons, Caleb is practising at the race track, in all weathers, putting in lap after lap constantly trying to better himself.”
Mr McDuff bought his son his first kart, and has set up a Facebook page, Silence Racing – Caleb McDuff', which has gained more than 130 ‘likes’ in the first 24 hours.
He said Caleb was learning to turn his deafness in his favour.
“When Caleb is racing he does so without any noise input at all, he is in complete silence,” he added.
“He is quickly turning this to his advantage though, and learning to adapt other senses, such as engine vibrations, and can also quickly exchange information when on track through sign language and hand gestures.”
To help him successfully compete next season the family is appealing for sponsorship on his behalf.
“He knows where he wants his future to be,” Mr McDuff added. “Ask him which race car he wants to drive, and without a seconds thought, he’ll tell you Ferrari.”
To get in touch about sponsoring Caleb email firstname.lastname@example.org