Meet Yuvraj Rajput: The 11-year-old Aiming To Become Kenya's Leading Race Driver

His favorite part of racing is speed, and the faster he does it the better for him.

This is Yuvraj Rajput, who at just 11 years old, savours back to back Bambino Class National Autocross Championship titles.

Yuvraj or 'Yuvi" as he is popularly known in racing circles racked up his second career KCB Kenya National Autocross Championship title in the penultimate race hosted by Twisty Corners, Kiambu after finishing second behind debutant Amman Ganatra. 

After the ninth race meeting, Yuvraj announced that he will be moving on from the Bambinos to the more competitive 2WD Non Turbo Junior Class where he intends to tackle tougher opponents. Next year.Yuvi will be turning 12 and will be eligible to join the Junior Class.

"It's such a good feeling to always try out something new. It reaches a time in a sporting career when you feel you need some fresh impetus," Yuvi, already a Kenyan karting champion in 2018, explained, adding. "My dad made good his promise to look into buying me a new 2WD contraption if I pass my end of term exams and I cannot wait to drive it. The new buggy will be 3 times the power of my current Magi-Bug and also a 5 speed manual.   I feel really confident going into the next season.  Who knows what the future holds? I want to be a professional race driver in the WRC or even Formula 1. I started my racing career in tarmac races for karting. The junior autocross category features drivers between the ages of 12 and 16, so I will be more than ready next year."

When asked what moving a berth higher to the next level would mean to his racing, he quips simply: "A great exposure, to prepare me for future races when I turn 18 years in the next six years to come."

The National Autocross and Karting Championships are, by and large, the breeding ground for future racing stars in Kenya.

Big names like Baldev Chager, Quentin Mitchell and Eric Bengi have honed their skills in circuit racing. 

Despite his stellar performance in Autocross,. Yuvraj believes education is  the key to success.

"Classwork always comes first. So it's during our spare time that we squeeze in time for practice."

Yuvi is a second generation driver. His dad Kirit Rajput is a Kenya National Rally Championship Division 3 driver, SPV class winner and the immediate former Open Class Autocross Champion.

'" As a second generation driver, there is always great support from my parents . But then again, the pressure is immense too; as fans tend to expect you to drive as fast as your dad," Yuvi said.

Yuvi and his kid sister Kiana race for Duma Racing with outgoing Quad Class Champion Wayne Fernandes as the Team Manager.

Kiana is technically the champion in waiting at Pee Wee Class where she has to race in the closing round this weekend.

 "Yuvraj already has the raw talent and raw speed to go far in motorsport. This is evident whenever he sets foot onto the cockpit," said Dad Kirit.

At the age of 8, Yuvraj became a Kenyan 60cc karting champion. He added another title in 2018 in Bambino Class but when Covid-19 happened in 2020, he could not defend his title due to the Ministry of Health (MOH) protocols which had banned social gathering.

He still remained the champion and successfully defended his title at the penultimate Twisty Corners race organized by Sikh Union Club. 

"I'd love to be a professional race driver and possibly make it to the summit of global racing," Yuvraj says with the bold demeanor of a champion.

"My dad, my sister and my godfather Wayne have always extended moral support to me being a motorsport driver," said Yuvi.

"Karting was my first form of motorsport. I was very young when dad introduced me to karting so it helped shape my driving lines effectively well.  My dad tells me that I was still drinking milk from a baby bottle when I first started Karting," said Yuvi. 

For now, Yuvi is balancing his driving passion, golfing prowess, riding his motorbike, cycling, and playing basketball with school. 

"When I get home from school I get my homework done . I play in the right wing for my School football team, go golfing at Windsor, though I'm yet to get a handicap. My Dad is very supportive of my many hobbies, though motorsport comes first in that list."

Earlier in the year, Yuvraj took part in his first ever Enduro in Kedong in his KTM 65cc dirt bike and came second overall out of 50 entries in his first attempt.



DOB: 8th February 


Race Debut:

AUTO X - 2016 S.U.C

Karting -  2015 R.V.M.S.C

Car: Subaru

Class: Bambino

Auto x - Bambino Majibug 170cc

karting - IAMI 60.CC

Team: Decko Racing Team

Career Highlights

  1. Karting 60cc - 2017 & 2018 Champion
  2. Bambino 2019 Champion 
  3. Enduro 2021 1st Place

Sports Nov 25, 2021