British motor racing conglomerate McLaren in a statement on Monday announced they have signed 13-year-old Nigerian-American karting prodigy, Ugo Ugochukwu, to a long-term deal.
The son of Nigerian model Oluchi Onweagba and Italian fashion designer Luca Orlandi, Ugochukwu already has several titles under his belt, with his recent accomplishment being the 2020 FIA European karting champion, CNN reported.
Per details of the deal, McLaren will have an option on the services of the promising karting teenager in the future as they aid in his development and provide the necessary support to enable him to rise through the junior ranks.
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“We’ve been watching Ugo’s progress with interest, so when the opportunity to sign an agreement with him became available, we had no hesitation moving on it,” McLaren CEO Zak Brown said. “Now we’ll focus on giving Ugo the right support when he needs it to help him fulfill his potential.”
McLaren is well-known for scouting and tapping young, potential Formula One talent, with one of its most successful junior signings being seven-time world champion, Lewis Hamilton. Just like Ugochukwu, the Grenadian-British racing driver was also 13 years of age when McLaren came calling with a deal, CNN reported.
“I’m honored to be signed by such an iconic team as McLaren Racing so early in my career,” Ugochukwu said about the deal. “To have the support of McLaren is fantastic and what any young driver dreams of. I’m focused right now on developing as a driver and racer, so having McLaren by my side can only help me on and off the track.”
Ugochukwu has been racing since 2013 and has taken part in various competitions in the United States as well as Europe. He is set to race in the OK Senior class competition in Europe this year, according to ESPN.