UAE: How This 9-Year-Old Girl from Kashmir Became a Karting Prodigy in World

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Atiqa Mir, who is the highest-ranked female driver in the Under-10 Category worldwide, started racing at 5

Atiqa Mir is smashing speed limits, breaking records, and inspiring young girls the world over. All at the age of 9.

The Indian-origin karting or kart-racer prodigy from Srinagar was a winner in the UAE IAME National Karting Championship held in UAE (in the Mini R category) in March and secured the podium spots in DAMC and the Middle East Cup in 2023.

Atiqa holds the title of the highest-ranked female karter globally in Under-10 category across any International Automobile Federation (FIA) or Commission Internationale de Karting (CIK) national karting championship, Khaleej Times reported.

She currently represents the George Gibbons Motorsport (GGM) team.

Atiqa says she started off her racing career because of her father and her favourite Formula 1 Driver.

“People do not know about it, but for me, I am proud of it. I feel proud to be the highest and fastest-ranked female in the world in the under-10 category,” Atiqa told ANI.

Atiqa Mir (Photo: atiqa.asifmir/Instagram page)

Atiqa Mir (Photo: atiqa.asifmir/Instagram page)

Atiqa credited her racing initiation to her father, Asif Nazir Mir, a seasoned racer and the nation’s first national karting champion. He won India’s first National Karting Championship title in the year 2000 and has raced in Formula Asia with 6 wins, and 8 Pole Positions. He also drove in the Barber Dodge Pro Series in the USA.

“So, it started when I was five and I was watching my dad’s race when I was three years old and I got interested in it. I did some karting on electronic carts in the malls for two months and became good. I eventually moved to indoor karting on an actual track, with rental cars,” Atiqa said.

“After that, my dad gave me a challenge to do a lap time and I did it. When he realised that I was doing good, he moved me to Bambino (her age category of racing) but I was 10-15 kg overweight at that time, which could affect my game. I lost eight kilograms of weight in like four to five months,” she said further.

During practice sessions, Atiqa discusses driving techniques and race data with her father, diligently taking notes to enhance her performance.

Expressing her aspirations to become a Formula 1 driver, she disclosed her admiration for Max Verstappen from Red Bull Racing.

“I want to do something that has never been done before. I have a message for all girls out there. Put your hard work, and dedication into your sport and believe in yourself. Give your time to the sport and practice. Do not let anyone tell you that you cannot do it,” she added.

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