A PONTYPOOL schoolboy aiming to become Formula One’s first deaf racing driver has secured his first big sponsor, and taken part in his first competitive event.

Caleb McDuff, from Talywain, was diagnosed as profoundly deaf aged just two, following a series of year infections, but, now six, he is refusing to let that stop him following his dreams.

The Nant Celyn Primary School pupil is now being supported by Newport-based financial services comparison website Gocompare, and recently competed in the Bambino Kart Championship 2014 at Wombwell, South Yorkshire.

The driven and determined youngster will compete again in Oxford next month, and then travel to Scotland in June.

Dad Ian McDuff, who bought his son his first kart, said that with many of the drivers in the series in their second year of competitive racing, 2014 would be a “learning year” for Caleb.

“Between his first lap and his last in Yorkshire he shaved off five seconds which is good going, so he’s doing alright fair play to him,” said Mr McDuff, who owns Pontypool business French Auto Solutions. “But there are a lot of new tracks and people so it will take a while.”

A Facebook page, ‘Silence Racing – Caleb McDuff', set up to draw attention to Caleb’s story has so far gained an impressive 1,260 ‘likes’.

But more sponsorship would be welcomed by the pair.

The plan is for Caleb, who practises at G Force Karting in Little Mill, Pontypool, to compete in the championship for two years. Beyond that – Mr McDuff said – who knows where it could take him.

“He says now that he loves Formula One and he wants to be a racing driver and if that’s what he wants to do I will do everything that I can to support him,” he added. “I’d love to see him reach the top.”

GoCompare said they were happy to contribute towards his racing kit.

Nadine Beaton, employee engagement manager at Gocompare.com, said: “We found Caleb’s story truly inspirational. We wish him all the best for his future and hope to see him on the podium at Monaco one day.”

To get in touch about sponsoring Caleb email ian.mcduff@frenchautosolutions.net