Meet Britain’s youngest racing driver – a four-year-old who can drive a go kart at 40mph before he can read and write.
Little Ronnie Ray Carter hasn’t even started school yet, but is already one of Europe’s best junior racers.
He got behind the wheel age three and is the youngest driver competing in the national Bambino Kart Club Championships – the league of the UK’s best young racing drivers.
Ronnie – who has won more than 20 trophies – took the chequered flag for the first time last month when he was crowned the 2019 Spanish Winter Cup champion in his first European competition.
Speedy Ronnie, from Runcorn, Cheshire, was given special permission to join the junior championships a year early, after wowing race officials.
This makes Ronnie, who only turned four in May, the youngest racing driver in the UK, according to his proud dad, Dale, 34.
Electrician, Dale, said: “He’s incredibly talented. He wakes up every morning and asks if he’s going racing.
“He wants to race every weekend and he’s starting to get wise about how important finishing first is.
“He first sat in a go kart on his third birthday. I taught him how to use the pedals and he was naturally good at it straight away.
“He drives in excess of 40mph. He knows exactly what he is doing and is not afraid.
“I know he’s the youngest racing driver in the country by far.
“The next youngest driver in the championship is nearly six.”
Ronnie earned his racing stripes with help of his dad, a former rally driver, who bought him a £1,500 50cc go-kart for his third birthday.
He taught him how to drive using a makeshift obstacle course using wheelie bins outside their home.
“I modified the car so it could only reach 10mph whilst he was learning”, said dad-of-two, Dale, who also has a 12-year-old daughter, Abi.
“I set up a slalom on the street with wheelie bins and showed him how to steer and what the pedals do.
“As soon as he jumped in the car he was away and flying. I always knew he’d be able to do it.
“When I was a driver he always wanted to sit in my car. I was never able to compete with the best so gave it up.
“Since then I’ve been training Ronnie from a young age.”
Ronnie graduated to driving around an abandoned industrial site and after hours of practice together were given special permission to join the Manchester and Buxton Kart Club.
After just a couple of months he was picked to take part in the Bambino championship trials, in Northampton, by a race official.
During the season last year, he competed across the UK against drivers much older, riding at 42mph, and finished in 9th place in the 2018 championships.
He won the tournament’s ‘Outstanding Achievement Award’.
Ronnie has never had a crash and is gearing up to compete in round one of the 2019 Bambino Kart Club Championships later this month.
He hopes to follow in the tyre tracks of Formula One world champion, Lewis Hamilton.
Dale, who lives partner Sharon Farrington, 34, believes Ronnie can go “all the way” and has already spent up to £15,000 on his son’s hobby.
He said: “He is racing against children two years older than him now on a full size track.
“He has always showed he has got incredible control of the car.
“I think he is good enough to go all the way towards F1, or some sort of professional racing.
“I am so proud of him. It is a dangerous sport and his mum does get scared because things can happen.
“But he is well protected and have everything he needs.
“As he gets older he is developing a competitive edge. It means more to him than just taking part now.
“He wants to win.”
Ronnie’s Facebook and Instagram pages are listed under ‘Ronnie Ray Racing’.