Sydney Coonishish knew his son, Katejun, was a natural for competitive racing when he could handle a 440 cc ski-doo with ease at 4 years of age.

But Sydney didn’t know of any snowmobile competitions for 4-year-olds. So Katejun cooled his heels for a few years until he and his father took a trip to Montreal and went to a Super Motocross race.

“When he saw the spectacular show, he said he’d like to race someday,” said Katejun’s dad.

Katejun, now 7, roared onto the racing scene this spring, capturing first place in his first motocross competition ever. The Ouje-Bougoumou resident won the PeeWee category at a race on May 14 near Quebec City. Katejun, wearing number 101, beat out the provincial champion, who came second.

The tiny driver has finished in the top three positions since that first race. He went to Ste-Julie near Montreal on May 21 and came in second, then took third place at a race a week later in Trois-Rivières.

“I think his self-esteem was kind of disturbed,” said Sydney, explaining why Katejun came in third.

In the rush to leave for the race. Katejun’s racing boots were left behind by mistake and he had to wear his hiking boots instead.

“Everyone was dressed up,” said dad. “He felt out of place.”

It didn’t seem to do Katejun much harm, though. He was running first in the second heat when he had some bad luck. A traffic jam forced him back to fourth place, and there just wasn’t time to catch up in the two remaining laps.

Katejun has been riding a 50-cc Italian-made Lem motocross bike in races for 4- to 7-year-olds. Dad says Katejun will race in another category, for 4- to 10-year-olds, as soon as they modify another bike to make it more powerful.

“We can play with the clutching, the gears, and give it a high-performance tune-up,” said Sydney.

Look for Katejun’s ranking at the end of the season. The way things are going for the Ojay youngster,

it looks like he’ll end up in front, as usual.