He’s a prodigy: Hong Kong teenager Kobe Wong leaves Formula E drivers trailing in his electric dust
The 13-year-old pips Alex Lynn in thrilling E-Race victory at HKT Hong Kong E-Prix, leaving Daniel Abt and Kamui Kobayashi in his wake
DS Virgin Racing driver Alex Lynn marched over to the other side of the simulator booth to see who had pipped him to victory with a sublime overtake on the final lap of the official E-Race at Central Harbourfront.
But he wasn’t expecting to see a 13-year-old boy proudly smiling back at him.
Teenager Kobe Wong was sat between his hero, the Andretti driver Kamui Kobayashi of Japan, and Daniel Abt of Audi, both of whom he left trailing in his electric dust over the five-lap race.
“I’m worried he’s going to take my drive now,” joked Lynn of Wong, who has taken karting lessons with Hong Kong racer Darryl O’Young.
Even video games whizz Felix Rosenqvist, who was promoted to winner in Sunday’s HKT Hong Kong E-Prix after Abt’s disqualification, was no match for the Hongkonger.
“That was really fun,” Wong said after snatching first place from Lynn. The Briton had been leading for much of the race until Wong sold him a dummy late on to audible disbelief from a jam-packed E-Village.
As a reward, Wong was allowed to skip the autograph session queue and sidled up to last season’s champion Lucas di Grassi for a photo.
The Brazilian told Wong he watched the race and that he did a “good job on the last corner”.
The result comes as no surprise for Wong, however, as he qualified top of the Hong Kong E-Prix fans simulator this year and last.
“I play the simulator at home, but we only have the wheel, no seats or other things,” said Wong, who dreams of following in the footsteps of Lynn & Co to become a professional driver.
He finished 10th in the official E-Race last year – Formula E drivers Mitch Evans, Jerome d’Ambrosio and Stephane Sarrazin taking the podium – but organisers were left stunned at Wong’s progress.
“It’s phenomenal,” said an official. “He was doing it consistently quick. There’s no way he could have practised fully for this because it’s not available for the public [outside events], so he’s just got talent – natural talent. He just jumped in and won the fastest lap. He’s a prodigy.”
Wong’s parents stood to the side beaming with pride as their son became the centre of all the media attention, and Hong Kong racing fans should be encouraged.
“This is a mobile game made for this sort of environment,” said the official. “It’s more of an arcade than a simulator, but it allows young players like Kobe to get around the track.
“The drivers always get competitive and it’s nice to sandwich the fans in between. It’s about accessibility and we want our drivers to interact with their fans.”