Athletes of Kingston: Andrew Maciel

By Ian MacAlpine

Kingston’s Andrew Maciel is not yet old enough to drive a car on local streets but that doesn’t stop the soft-spoken 15-year-old from pursuing his dream of being Canada’s next great Indy Car driver and following the tread marks of Canadian Indy Car racers James Hinchcliffe, Robert Wickens and Paul Tracy.

“When I was little I used to watch Lightning McQueen (an animated race car from the 2006 Pixar movie Cars) and I said I wanted to become like him, I wanted to start racing.” He said in a recent interview in his west-end home. “Later when I got older I started to watch Indy Car, Formula One and I thought these drivers are very talented I want to become like them.”

Maciel was born in Toronto but has lived in Brazil and Ecuador. He moved to Kingston four years ago. Maciel can speak three languages; English, French and Portuguese. He’s going into grade 10 in the fall at Ecole Marie-Rivier.

Maciel started racing when he was nine-years-old when he lived in Ecuador.

The car he currently drives a Tommy Kart, a high end go kart but can go as fast as a street car, about 115 km/h., Maciel said.

He usually races at the Mosport Kartways, a track facility in Bowmanville. As of early August Maciel was leading his junior racing division after eight races. The season which runs from mid-April to mid-October has four races left.

In mid-August he was to compete in the Canadian Karting Championships against racers from Canada and the United States.

Maciel also races in Quebec and parts of the United States including Florida.

He couldn’t do what he does without the support of his family.

“My dad (Adriano), my mom (Juliana) and sister (10 year-old sister Vivian), always support me since they come to all my races even though there long and tiring weekends,” he said. “My Dad is actually my mechanic, he helps me out a lot by getting the parts on properly,” he said. “He’s sort of new at it but he’s starting to catch it.”

In the 2020 season when he turns 16 Maciel hopes to move on from go kart racing and drive a real race car.

Photo Credit: Ian MacAlpine

“Now I’m looking forward to move on to car (racing) the USF 2000 which is part of the ‘Road to Indy’ series. Then could go towards another class like ProMazda class, then Indy Lites, then you actually realize your dream, Indy Car.”

Maciel hopes to reach the Indy Car circuit by the time he’s 20-years-old.

But to get there he’ll need support from sponsors to cover the high costs related to his racing. To that end, his family has put out an ambitious sponsorship proposal looking for funds to support his dream.

“With the support of sponsors, one of my goals is to is to actually help the sponsors achieve their goals first and then with the sponsorship help it’ll help me get to Indy Cars as well,” he said.

What does he like best about racing?

“I always enjoy the adrenaline that is put into the sport, racing close, inches from each other, hard racing, inside dives and it’s just a great sport to be around,” he said.

Sponsorship opportunities are available by contacting Maciel at 613-217-2526 or via email He’s also on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.