ROSS MAGUIRE may only be six years old but already he has come to a crossroads in his young life.
Along with dad David, the talented Cambusnethan kid must make a decision on which track to take in his fledgling racing career.
Whether it’s on a BMX, a go-kart or minibike, Ross seems set to make a name for himself in the future, however, at the end of this year he and his dad will have to make a huge decision.
“Ross will be seven next month. When he gets to eight, he can race in the next class up in karting,” David said.
“We need to decide whether to do that or stick to the bikes. I can’t see us doing both because of time and cost constraints.”
This summer the Cambusnethan Primary School pupil is competing in the British Bambino Karting Championships (six to eight-year-olds) and the Scottish Minimoto Championships (six to nine-year-olds).
He will also find time to race in the Scottish Summer BMX Championships, having won the winter event last year.
Last week, Ross secured a podium finish in round one of the minimoto championships and he holds the lap record (five to eight year-olds) at the Tom Brown Kart Racing School.
“He likes anything with wheels,” proud dad David enthused.
“We have videos of him when he was just one just staring at motorbikes going past the house.
“When Ross was three, we bought him a wee electric car. I used to jog round the estate to keep up with him.
“At the age of five, he heard the noise of go-karts out the back at my mother’s house in Larkhall. I took him over and before long we had hired a kart at the racing school.”
His potential has not gone unnoticed, with Alan McIntosh, from McIntosh Minibikes, agreeing to sponsor Ross in the Scottish Championships. Charge Clothing have also come on board to sponsor his racing attire.
“Having Alan sponsor and pay for the bike was a godsend.” David admitted.
“He doesn’t like putting kids on a minibike until they are seven but, as soon as he saw Ross, he was happy.”
David continued: “We travel in our van throughout the country, down to England, Friday, Saturday then back up for karting on Sunday morning.
“I had a 900-mile round trip to Lincoln – that is has been biggest expenditure so far.
“But it does not bother me. I enjoy it as much, if not more, as Ross does. I used to go to the gym every day but now I play football on a Monday night if I’m lucky. Ross’ racing takes up all my time but I love it.”
As time goes on, there is the realisation that costs associated with being involved in racing will naturally soar.
Lack of funding has put paid to talented Carluke racer Alex Gault’s 2012 season and David realises the importance attached to choosing the right path for his son and securing sponsorship where possible.
He explained: “Karting is the more expensive option – most of those parents want their sons to be Formula One drivers.
“People in motorsport say to me: ‘If you splash the cash on a kart, it will go quicker but a bike is more down to skill.
“Valentino Rossi, who was a World Champion biker, could go and test a Formula One car and be within a few seconds of the proper drivers.
“You couldn’t get David Coulthard or Lewis Hamilton jumping on a motorbike and keeping up.
“It doesn’t work the other way. Bike riders seem to have a level of skill that makes them good on anything with wheels.
“So, at the moment, we’re steering towards the bikes.”
For now though, Ross just loves competing on anything – even if he did admit to being slightly nervous at the starting line in last week’s Scottish Championships.
And just like any other driving enthusiast at his age, Ross knows exactly where he wants to end up.
“Driving in Formula One,” he said, with a mischievous smile on his face.