The Rising Star Of Mitchell deJong

by Vince Pettit

At the age of sixteen, Mitchell deJong is already setting the world alight having started racing at the tender age of five he has already taken 9 off-road championships.

Son of off-road racer/car builder Vince deJong, Mitchell started his racing career like most young racers in go-karts, in 2007 he took the Apex Open Karting Championship along with the CORR Trophy Kart Championship – his first (of many) off-road championships.

Racing has always been the most important thing for deJong and was once asked why he was inside doing his homework when his friends were at recess, his reply? “You told me I could only go to the go-kart track  when my homework was finished, so it’s done. Let’s go!”

Following his two titles in 2007 deJong has gone on to take championship victories in LEMX Off Road Trophy Kart, BITD Primm Desert, Traxxas TORC Off Road Trophy Kart, Lucas Oil Off Road Modified Kart and TORC Pro Buggy, to name a few.

In 2012 he became the youngest driver ever to win a Pro Buggy class race in the Traxxas TORC series and for 2013 he stepped things up to join the the Global Rallycross scene in the shape of the GRC Lites class, a feeder series for the main race. Of the 6 starts he made he took 2 podiums, 1 heat win and 81 points to finish the championship in third place. The only downside in the 2013 season was an accident at Bristol which took him out of the running.

Aside for the on track action, deJong lives and breathes racing, taking part in online races on iRacing simulator, racing radio controlled cars, and spending hours on YouTube watching videos of rally legends such as Sebastien Loeb. All of this is joined with mechanical preperation as he helps his father work on, and build cars.

With backing from drinks giant Red Bull and other high profile sponsors deJong is building something special already and looks set for global stardom amongst the other American off-road stars such as Travis Pastrana, Tanner Foust and Ken Block.

For 2014 he continues on the Rallycross path, taking part once again in the Red Bull Global Rallycross championship support series GRC Lites, which gets underway this weekend at the Circuit of the Americas as part of the 2014 X Games. Last year deJong took home a Silver medal in the LA GRC Lites Final and will be looking to continue the pace he showed in England when he blew away the regular competition at Lydden Hill for a guest appearance in RX Lites on his European debut.

Mitchell DeJong

deJong in action at Lydden Hill for the RX Lites

With the English climate somewhat different to the Californian sun deJong is used to he took two heat victories, a win in the semi finals and the overall win in the finals, finishing over 2 seconds ahead of second placed Richard Goransson.

Now that  2013 GRC Lites Champion Joni Wiman has made the move up to the main Supercar class, and championship nemesis Kevin Eriksson heads to Sweden for the all new STCC-backed rallycross championship deJong is the leading light of the series and is looking set to take everything in his stride.

You can follow all the action from this weekend’s X Games here on and at @tcfX on twitter.

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