Kekai Hauanio joined Formula 4 United States Championship (F4 U.S.) after a successful seven-year run in go-karts that included national podiums and countless regional and local podiums. He transitioned to racecars while running with YACademy Winter Series, where he won the F4 class championship, before joining F4 U.S. for the 2023 season. Hauanio started the year with a pair of top-10 finishes in his No. 29 N-E-Where Transport Ligier JS F4 during the season opener at NOLA Motorsports Park. From there, he went on to earn nine more top-10 results, including his first-career podiums at VIRginia International Raceway (VIR), with a third-place finish in Round 14 and a runner-up result in Round 15.
Where are you from and what's your favorite thing about your hometown?
Kekai Hauanio (KH): “I’m from Tampa, Florida, and I like being close to beaches.”
When and how did you decide that you wanted to drive race cars, and then once you made that decision, how'd you get here?
KH: “When I was seven, I started in go-karts. My grandpa helped get me into it. I moved up the ranks and made it to the top class in karting. From there, I decided I wanted to try cars out, and I chose F4 U.S.”
Who's your racing idol and what made you look up to them?
KH: “Probably Scott Dixon. I've been watching him since I got into go-karts when I was seven. He's a very good driver; he has skills.”
If you could only drive one race track for the rest of your life, which track would you want it to be?
KH: “Probably Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. I raced there in a go-kart—and with F4 U.S.—it was really fun. I enjoy the hills and elevation change.”
Alternatively, what's the one race track that you most dream of racing on one day?
KH: “Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the Indy 500. That race is such an iconic race, and you’re going almost 240 mph, which is insane.”
Tell me about one race that really sticks out to you – maybe it was your best race or just your favorite.
KH: “The weekend at VIRginia International Raceway. VIR is one of my favorite tracks, and to get my first F4 U.S. Championship podium there was really special.”