A BENDIGO youngster, who shares a name with a motorsport legend, is making his presence felt in the world of go-karting.
Ayrton Filippi has his sights set firmly on success at Go Karting Victoria titles.
The eight-year-old over the long weekend won round one of the cadet 9 class at the Go Kart Club of Victoria track in Port Melbourne.
It was an eye-catching win by Ayrton, who has been racing go-karts for a little less than 12 months.
Contested over two days, Ayrton was up against eight of the state's best cadet 9 class drivers.
He struck trouble early after qualifying fourth for heat one and did not finish the race after a mechanical breakdown.
After some speedy repairs by dad Marc to replace the clutch, Ayrton finished fifth in heat two.
On day two, Ayrton started the pre-final back in seventh position on the grid and made his way to third.
The Bendigo and Puckapunyal club member saved his best for last and after starting the final in fourth made an impressive start passing the front runners at the first corner, taking the lead and going on to win.
Proud mother Brigid said officials later told Ayrton it had been a very long time since they remember a Bendigo boy winning his class and that it was a great achievement.
She said references to Formula One legend, the late Ayrton Senna abounded when friends of the family learned young Ayrton was competing in go karts.
Senna, a three-time Formula One world champion, started his career in go-karts and was twice runner-up at the World Karting Championships.
"His dad has always been into cars and loves his racing, but it was (Ayrton's) choice to want to do it," Brigid said.
"He's just getting better and better and is obsessed with it.
"His year last year wasn’t bad but he didn't have the same motor all the other kids, so he was chasing them a lot last year.
"This year we got him the new motor and upgraded his kart and he's surprised us all."
Ayrton and his parents were in Gippsland the previous week for the opening round of the Golden Power Series where he placed second.
The series continues throughout the year at Rochester on May 7-8, Bendigo (July 9-10), Albury (August 20-21) and Puckapunyal (November 5-6).
Ayrton is also looking forward to the Gold Cup race day at the Bendigo Go Kart Club on April 3.
Brigid said the family was grateful for the support of sponsors Air Compressors Plus, Bendigo Specialist Brake and Clutch, and Mr Whippy Central Victoria and were always on the lookout for more sponsors.