Dubai, UAE, 4 May 2017: At eleven years old Jakob Robinson attended a karting birthday party at Dubai Kartdrome and afterwards he immediately knew what he wanted for his own upcoming birthday—a go-kart.
The passion for racing soon spread to his younger brother Lachlan and the two boys and their family would devote many weekends at the track to develop their skills. Fast forward five years later and Jakob, now 16 years old, and Lachlan now 13 years old, are both UAE IAME X30 karting champions, racing for Scuderia Racing.
The brothers had always enjoyed motorsport, watching F1 and Australia V8 Supercars from an early age, but it was that first time behind the wheel that really got them hooked.
They were also fortunate to spend time in the Red Bull garage at the 2013 Australian Grand Prix. It was there they met and were inspired by one of their racing idols, Mark Webber. Mark was there with his father, and both Webbers gave the Robinsons plenty of advice on the sacrifices that the entire family would need to make in order to pursue a path in motorsport.
They especially highlighted to the boys that no matter what their success, they should always be grateful for, and respectful of, the opportunities they are given.
The brothers enrolled in Dubai Kartdrome tuition courses to learn the basic fundamentals of kart racing and to prepare for the Association of Racing Kart Schools (ARKS) Test. They both passed and received a license to race.
In 2014, they entered their first competitive races as part of the UAE Rotax Max Challenge Championship as well as a few Sodi World Series (SWS) events. The brothers refined their race craft while also maintaining their commitments at school.
Their father, David Robison, observed, “Training and competing for multiple series means that a vast majority of weekends every year are spent at the track, however, the boys are under no illusion that school and study are the most important things in their life.”
That hard work and dedication is now beginning to pay off.
Jakob was the 2016-17 Senior UAE Rotax Max Challenge Vice Champion and Lachlan mirrored his brother’s achievement in the Junior Class. Then they moved into the IAME X30 series.
Jakob represented the UAE at the IAME X30 World Finals in 2015 and 2016, and Lachlan joined him in 2016. This October they will both represent the UAE at the IAME X30 World Finals in Le Mans, France.
The Robinson brothers have made an enormous impact on the local karting scene, confirmed by their double triumph as UAE IAME X30 Champions in April. Lachlan prevailed in Junior Class while Jakob conquered the highly competitive Senior Class.
Jakob commented, “I would never have believed it after only starting karting a few years ago after I was invited to a birthday karting party! Winning the 2016-17 UAE X30 Senior Championship is a dream come true and I am extremely grateful to all those that made it possible. Without the support of my team, Scuderia Racing Karts, Luka Jurkovic, Fabio Rota, Rajpal and my parents, I would never have had the opportunity to compete at this level.”
“I would also like to thank the many people from our extended ‘karting family’ who have supported and believed in me over the past few years. The championship was close all season and I truly believe that the strength of your competitors makes you work harder and become more focused. My closest rival, Enzo Fontanella, made me work hard on the track and pushed me all the way and I thank him for being the tough but fair competitor that he is.”
Lachlan reflected, “To win the 2016-17 UAE X30 Junior Championship Trophy, after all the hard work, was fantastic but I wish I could have had the people that made it happen for me on the top step as well. Whilst I may have been lucky enough to hold the steering wheel, there were many others that helped win the championship.”
“My Mum and Dad give up so much for my brother and I and without their belief in us, we would never be able to race. Our team, Scuderia Racing Karts, Luka Jurkovic, my mechanics, especially Fabio Rota (who was not able to see me lift the championship trophy) and the karting community have all been awesome supporters. Thank you one and all and I hope to do you all proud in the coming years ahead.”
And this is just the beginning for the Robinsons. The boys will continue to race in the UAE while also setting their sights on racing in Europe and beyond.
Report & Photos: Aaron Meriwether