By Jacob Berrier | Staff Writer
Senior Conner Clay excels in high-performance go-kart racing in his high school career, racing in professional competitions within the area. Conner now reflects upon his past successes and looks to his future.
Conner races in the Rotax league, where he is a “Rotax Senior.” The Rotax league consists of racers ranging from ages five to 60. A Rotax Senior is a racer from ages 15 to 35, along with the specific motor and kart that the racer is equipped with.
In 2012, Conner claimed a championship in Dallas and a second-place finish in the Southeastern regional cup. Between 2012 and the duration of the 2013 season, Conner was ranked number seven in his class, Rotax Senior. In 2013, Conner raced in all 10 rounds of the SKUSA Texas ProKart challenge and finished third overall.
“I really enjoy racing in the ProKart challenge, It’s a fun track around the city square, and I look forward to it each year,” Conner said. He finished fifth in the most recent 2014 venue in Katy, Texas.
Conner work hard to balance the demanding season schedule with school. “The races take up a lot of weekends, so prioritizing school work to get done before or after the weekend was key.” Most of the races ranged from Oklahoma, to Louisiana, and ranging across Texas.
Although Conner is not as dedicated to the sport as he has been in the past, he hopes to use the skills that he’s learned for his future. “I’m planning on going to Texas A&M; and going into their formula SAE program,” he said. The SAE program is a program in which the engineering students help build carts and then race them in a national competition against other colleges. A&M; took second in this competition in 2013.
This means that Conner must keep his racing skills intact. Practicing in this upcoming winter is the best way to stay sharp in the offseason, Conner said . “I hope to take my kart out at least once or twice every two weeks,” he added.