A PROFOUNDLY deaf young racer is celebrating after securing the title in a prestigious UK karting championship.

Caleb McDuff, 11, from Pontypool, competes in the Super One National Kart Championships, a championship famed for producing Formula One talents including Lewis Hamilton, who drove for the same Zipkart Team in his karting days that Caleb drives for now.

Despite this being only Caleb’s second year in the category, he managed to come away with the title, having finished on the podium in every race of the season.

Ian McDuff, Caleb’s dad, said: “I’m very proud, it’s been a really good year. He’s done fantastically.

“He went in to the category this year to develop and learn, but he’s exceeded all expectations.

“He just continues to impress.”

The Cwmbran High School pupil suffered from chronic ear infections aged two, leaving him profoundly deaf – meaning he is unable to hear most sounds.

When he was four, he was surgically implanted with cochlear implants, an electronic device that allows him to receive a simulated sense of hearing.

However, he has to remove the outer parts of the devices to wear his crash helmet, meaning he races in complete silence, relying on using vibrations to feel his kart and engine.

“He faces a lot of disadvantages,” said Mr McDuff. “He has to work harder to be aware of the other karts on the track.

“If a kart approaches him from behind, he doesn’t know about it until he sees it.

“You see him looking around during the race a lot more than the other drivers.”

Mr McDuff highlighted the last race of the season at the Llandow Kart Circuit in Vale of Glamorgan, where Caleb qualified in first place, won both heats, the pre-final and final race, while also setting the fastest lap.

Following his successful season, Mr McDuff said he hoped Caleb will be able to race in Europe next year, but admitted it depended on finances.

“It all depends on what budget we have available next year,” said Mr McDuff. “We would love to do a European race. It would really help him develop and would open up a lot of opportunities for him.”