At nine, Langley’s Grayson Talaba, seen here in a 2019 race, has several wins under his belt and is preparing to resume racing following a truncated 2020 season due to the pandemic. (Stephen Frye/Special to Langley Advance Times)

At nine, Langley’s Grayson Talaba, seen here in a 2019 race, has several wins under his belt and is preparing to resume racing following a truncated 2020 season due to the pandemic. (Stephen Frye/Special to Langley Advance Times)

VIDEO: Langley’s Grayson Talaba is burning up the track

Nine-year-old go kart racer tends to end up on the podium

Racer number 15 in the Italkart and bright green helmet isn’t too hard to spot at the track, because he is usually at the front of the pack.

Murrayville’s Grayson Talaba, nine, has been a consistent front runner and podium finisher in the nine- to 12-year-old Jr. 1 go kart class at local and regional levels, usually going up against older kids at speeds of up to 100 km/h.

“I like that it’s really competitive,” Grayson told the Langley Advance Times.

His breakout year in racing was 2019, when Grayson competed in 15 races in Canada and the U.S., while finishing on the podium 11 times.

Highlights included four podium finishes in six ICP Cup regional races (named after sponsor In City Prints) where he competed against older and more experienced competitors from throughout the Pacific Northwest.

In 2020, he started the season with three straight wins, finishing first in the Sumas International Motorsports Academy (SIMA) Winter Jr. 1 championship in Sumas, WA.

But then, the pandemic hit, and COVID-19 restrictions shut down the border.

The rest of the 2020 season was limited to three races in Canada, where Grayson posted up a win and two more podium finishes.

READ ALSO: Racer satiates need for speed in Vegas

Grayson got his start at five, when his dad, Teodor Talaba, who used to race go karts in his youth, took his son to a show at the Tradex.

There was a go kart display that offered novices a chance to try the sport out for free.

At the beginning of his competitive career, Grayson was running “mid-pack,” Teodor recalled, but then he upgraded to a quicker, used kart.

“It’s made him faster.”

Racing will start locally with the West Coast Kart Club at the Chilliwack track and expand to the U.S. once the border reopens.

During the year, Grayson will continue his current driver development program with Catalyst Driver Development instructors, top level pro racing drivers.

READ ALSO: VIDEO: Langley racer Andrew Dobbie to drive for first Canadian-owned and operated Formula 3 racing team

The focus for the new season will be skill development and preparation for a move up to even faster, full-size karts in 2022.

Grayson is fairly happy with his racing but would like to get stronger, to better handle the twists and turns.

“Sometime it can be difficult,” he commented.

It is a physically demanding sport, as his dad knows.

“During a lap, there are times, during fast or tight corners (that) these young drivers experience cornering forces of over 2Gs,” Teodor said.


Have a story tip? Email: dan.ferguson@langleyadvancetimes.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

CoronavirusLangleySports

 

Langley’s Grayson Talaba has several wins under his belt and is preparing to resume racing following a truncated 2020 season due to the pandemic. (Special to Langley Advance Times)

Langley’s Grayson Talaba has several wins under his belt and is preparing to resume racing following a truncated 2020 season due to the pandemic. (Special to Langley Advance Times)

At nine, Langley’s Grayson Talaba, seen here in a 2019 race, has several wins under his belt and is preparing to resume racing following a truncated 2020 season due to the pandemic. (Stephen Frye/Special to Langley Advance Times)

At nine, Langley’s Grayson Talaba, seen here in a 2019 race, has several wins under his belt and is preparing to resume racing following a truncated 2020 season due to the pandemic. (Stephen Frye/Special to Langley Advance Times)

Just Posted

Tina Taphouse is pictured in Langley, B.C., Monday, June 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Langley woman says her mother put her up for adoption to avoid Kamloops residential school

Tina Taphouse said she’s sharing her family’s story so those who went to the schools don’t have to

In two years, Langley City businessman Loyd Fowler’s tax bill has gone from $9,000 to $12,000. (Special to Langley Advance Times)
City business tax hike ‘crazy,’ business owner says

In two years, Loyd Fowler’s bill went from $9,000 to $12,000

Single Moms Oil Change in 2017. (Aldergrove Star files)
Single Moms Oil Change to be held for first time in more than one year

Free oil change for single parents offered by Acts of Kindness at Church in the Valley on Sunday

Langley Grad Week 2021 runs June 21-25. (Langley School District Facebook)
Langley Grad Week 2021 starts today

Community is invited to celebrate this year’s graduates

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

COVID-19 daily cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day moving average to June 17, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections drop to 90 on Sunday, 45 Monday

Pandemic spread dwindles as 77% of adults receive vaccine

By protesting uninvited in First Nations’ territories, conservationists are acting in a neocolonial or paternalistic manner, says Huu-ay-aht Chief Robert Dennis. Photo by Heather Thomson
A closer look: do Vancouver Island First Nations support the war in the woods?

First Nations/environmentalist old growth alliance uneasy, if it exists at all

A blood drive in support of 1-year-old Rielynn Gormley of Agassiz is scheduled for Monday, June 28 at Tzeachten First Nation Community Hall in Chilliwack. Rielynn lives with type 3 von Willebrand disease, which makes it difficult for her to stop bleeding. (Screenshot/Canadian Blood Services)
Upcoming blood drive in honour of Fraser Valley toddler with rare blood condition

The Gormley family has organized a blood drive in Chilliwack on June 28

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

One Reconciliation Pole and two Welcome Figures were unveiled during a ceremony in honour of truth and reconciliation on National Peoples Indigenous Day at the Vancouver School District in Vancouver, B.C., on Friday, June 21, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Horgan marks Indigenous Peoples Day by urging recognition of systemic racism

National Indigenous Peoples Day has been marked in Canada since 1996

Deepak Sharma of Abbotsford has been convicted of the sexual assault of one of his cab passengers in West Vancouver in January 2019.
Former Abbotsford Hindu temple president convicted of sexual assault

Deepak Sharma assaulted a female passenger when he was a cab driver

A man makes his way past signage to a mass COVID-19 vaccination centre at the University of Toronto’s Mississauga campus during the COVID-19 pandemic in Mississauga, Ont., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Canadians encouraged to see mRNA shots as interchangeable as more 2nd doses open up

Doctors urge people not to hesitate if offered Moderna after getting Pfizer for their first shot

Chief of Defence Staff Jonathan Vance sits in the front row during a news conference in Ottawa on June 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Defence committee rises without report on Vance allegations

Committee had been investigating the government’s handling of complaints against former defence chief

Most Read