A TALENTED deaf go-kart racer from Torfaen is set to make his debut in a UK-wide contest after receiving another season of sponsorship from a housing firm.

This year, Caleb McDuff will compete for the first time in the MSA IAME British Cadet Championship - a class of the Super One Series for racers aged between eight and 13.

The nine-year-old racing hopeful, of Pontypool, is considered the world’s youngest deaf racing driver on a professional career pathand lost 90 per cent of his hearing at the age of two as a result of chronic ear infections.

Despite depending on cochlear implants to hear, the racing hopeful has shown no signs of slowing down and has been sponsored for a second year by housing developer Taylor Wimpey.

The developer is currently building homes in Parc Celyn and Maes Brychiad at Edlogan Wharf in Cwmbran and described the youngster as "inspirational".

Caleb's father, Ian McDuff, said: "When we were first told the news, we were absolutely devastated.

“Before this, we had sometimes struggled to get Caleb’s attention, but because he was our first child, we didn’t know any better, and as he was so young, neither did he.

“He was bullied at school for his cochlear implants because the other children knew that he was different to them, so for a time he refused to wear them.

"He had a real love for cars, so racing came as a huge help in building his confidence.”

At just 18 months old, Caleb learned to drive an electric-powered toy car and eventually got behind the wheel of his first petrol-powered go-kart at the age of four.

In 2014, he was selected to compete in the Bambino Kart Tour, a race series for drivers between the ages of six and eight, and finished 24th out of 40 at the end of his first season.

Due to his custom-designed crash helmet, Caleb is unable to wear his cochlear implants on the track, meaning he is forced to race in complete silence.

Dad Ian said: “Considering how far Caleb has come in such a short space of time it’s just so amazing to see him racing around the track, and even if he always came last, I would still be incredibly proud of him.

“To do so well in his first season was a massive achievement and really proved what he was capable of.

“Caleb dreams of becoming the first ever deaf Formula 1 driver, but we’re not a well-off family and sadly the sport is set up in favour of those who have the money for it.

"I’d love to see him compete in high-level motorsport one day though, and this is something I don’t doubt he is capable of".

He added the sponsorship "really does make all the difference in the world" and that the family "struggle" to support Caleb financially without it.

"I’m very hopeful that their generosity will encourage other companies to get help Caleb fulfil his dreams," he said.

Sales and marketing director for Taylor Wimpey South Wales, Sara Taylor, added: “We are absolutely thrilled to be sponsoring such an inspirational young person as Caleb once again.

“He has already achieved so much and we are sure that he will go onto achieve much, much more in the future.”

For more information on Taylor Wimpey, visit:www.taylorwimpey.co.uk.