Discovery+’s new series “Baby Drivers'' offers far more than its name suggests. Exclusive to the platform, the documentary provides a unique look into the apparent action, high-stakes and dangers of competitive youth go-karting.
“I see go-karting as a platform to raise up a new generation of elite athletes,” comments head coach Troy Adams. As the face of the acclaimed Adams Motorsports Park, located in Southern California, his Driver Development Program is at the forefront of training for up-and-coming kid racers.
Indeed, competitive youth racing is anything but ‘baby’. The series follows a diverse array of determined “drivers … going 70 to 75 miles an hour.” At speeds often faster than most adults, these young drivers are poised to take the racing industry to the next level.
Divided into age groups, these children start their racing careers as young as 5 years old: Kid Kart (ages 5-7), Cadets (ages 8-11) and Juniors (ages 12-16).
Parents of athletes hope go-karting would lay the foundation for their children to get to professional circuits, including F1 and Nascar. In its history, the Motorsports Park has seen hundreds of kids stepping into the racing industry.
Of course, the program also covers the often challenging conditions faced by many would-be drivers. As the industry continues to grow, alongside heightened competition, many families aim for sponsorships for their drivers; the only roadblock, getting to the podium.
With compelling commentary from racing stars, like Pro Stock driver Jesse Iwujii, “Baby Drivers” tackles the very real consequences of competitive youth go-karting. Whether in the necessity of intensive physical condition, the idea of kindness when trying to get to the top, or handling failure, these young athletes often face tall-hurdles in the motorsport.
Even while excited for their racing careers, the high expectations often place pressure on these racers. In a tough-love situation, being soft can be deadly. But viewers are also left questioning the extent of stretching children thin, sometimes to tears, in the period when they should be mischievous, playful, and lively.
The documentary also delves into the lives of affiliated racing families, as part of their experience with Adams' Development Program. Despite the possible pay-offs of the developing industry, many face high costs to stay in the game. But still, others remain motivated by achievable expectations, vicarious interests, and the everpresent desire to support their children’s dreams.
Following the evolution of the world of racing, viewers should brace for the intricacies of the make-or-break sport. “Baby Drivers” is streaming on Discovery+.