By Rob Potter
LIBERTY December 20, 2005 Kilian Bloat was born to drive.
His grandmother, Ursula Bloat, fondly recalls that when Kilian was just 2 years old he sat on her husbands lap and helped him turn the steering wheel of the vehicle while it sat in the driveway.
These days, 8-year-old Kilian Bloat deftly controls the steering wheel of go-karts. The Liberty resident began racing karts in the Kid Kart class at Oakland Valley Race Park (OVRP) in Cuddebackville in the summer of 2004. This past summer at OVRP, Kilian drove in both the Kid Kart class, which is for drivers ages 5 to 7, and Novice Cadet class, which is for drivers ages 8 to 12.
And Kilian drives both of his karts very well.
That summer, my husband watched Kilian at the racetrack and said Hes going to be a champion, Ursula Bloat said of her late husband, Carl Boat Sr., who made that statement while cheering on his grandson during a race in 2004. (Sadly, Carl Sr. passed away in January of this year).
In only two seasons of racing, Kilian Bloat has won 60 trophies and plaques for first-, second- and third- place finishes. Most of his races have been at OVRP, but he has competed at other tracks, including one in Poughkeepsie.
Next week, Kilian, his parents, Carl Jr. and Kandace, sister Blü, an aunt and cousin, will all be heading south to the perhaps the worlds most famous racetrack, Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. From December 27 through 30, Kilian and 13 other OVRP drivers will be competing at WKA Daytona Kart Week.
Kilian is looking forward to the Daytona trip, especially since OVRP and other area tracks wont open again until next spring.
So what does the young racer like best about kart racing?
Blasting them away, said Kilian, referring to speeding past his fellow racers at up to 70 mph.
And winning, added the Light and Life Christian School third-grader. I also like being with my friends.
Ursula Bloat has watched her grandson race several times.
He loves being behind the wheel, she said. Hes absolutely a born race driver. Hes not afraid to go to the race track.
Even after an accident this past summer where his go-kart flipped, Kilian was back on the track at the next scheduled race day.
Chris Santillo, who is the mechanic for Kilians karts, noted that the youngster seemed a bit nervous after that incident but eagerly returned to racing.
Hes awesome, hes definitely talented, said Santillo, who is engaged to Kilians aunt, April Bloat.
In addition to racing go-karts, Kilian Bloat is a huge fan of auto racing. He has the small toy replica cars and other memorabilia of several National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) drivers, including Kasey Kahne, Casey Mears, Martin Truex Jr. and Scott Wimmer.
Among his favorite racing-related items are his lucky hat, featuring the signature of Formula-1 driver Jenson Button, and a helmet that was autographed by NASCAR Busch Series driver David Green.
But Kilians all-time favorite driver is the late Dale Earnhardt, who won seven NASCAR titles and 76 career NASCAR races before he was killed in a crash on the last lap of the 2001 Daytona 500.
Now, Kilian roots for Dale Earnhardt Jr. in NASCAR Nextel Cup Series races.
Of course, when young Kilian grows up, he wants to be a professional race car driver.
Maybe F1 or Indy Car, he said. But NASCAR is the first choice.
Like many young boys, Kilian also likes football and baseball. His favorite teams are the New York Jets and New York Mets.
But racing is clearly his favorite sport.
This past summer, the entire Bloat family spent their Sundays at OVRP to watch Kilian compete in the Kid Kart and Novice Cadet races. The family would leave their home in Liberty at 6 a.m. and not return until about 6 p.m.
Its fun to watch him race, said Blü Bloat, who is a seventh-grade student at Light and Life Christian School.
She noted that many times her younger brother has brought a new trophy to school on a Monday for a show-and-tell presentation.
Kilian will probably have more trophies to show his friends and classmates in the future. Next summer, he plans to move up to the next kart division at OVRP, which is the Cadet class.
Its fun driving, he said.
With snow covering the ground and cold breezes in the air right now, Kilian is looking forward to getting back on the local tracks in a few months.
I miss it [during winter], he said. I miss being with my friends.