Teenager sets sights on race

Rodney Times - - FRONT PAGE -

When the Wood­hill 100 is raced on Sun­day a teenage driver will have no hes­i­ta­tion tak­ing on the vet­er­ans.

Taine Car­ring­ton, 13, of Kumeu will be the youngest com­peti­tor in the 31-year his­tory of the an­nual off-road event.

But in his rookie year he has al­ready shown he has the tal­ent to tackle this gru­elling event through Wood­hill For­est.

The Massey High School stu­dent races a 1200cc VW en­gined sin­gle-seater of­froad race car in the New Zealand Of­froad Rac­ing Cham­pi­onships.

In his first sea­son of rac­ing he is lead­ing the North Is­land and na­tional 1200cc class seven se­ries af­ter the first two North Is­land rounds.

Hav­ing won at the first short course round at Mere­mere in ap­palling bog con­di­tions, he also won the sec­ond round at Palmer­ston North at Easter.

There he won his class and was placed fifth over­all in the sec­ond day’s 150km en­durance race through farm­land and for­est tracks against 22 other driv­ers. Taine was awarded the driver of the event tro­phy.

He is joint points leader in the Auck­land Of­froad Rac­ing Club se­ries, the All Ter­rain Rac­ing Club points ta­ble, in the top five of Coun­ties Manukau Of­froad Rac­ing Club points, and is sev­enth over­all in the North and South Is­land com­bined points for the New Zealand ti­tle.

The Wood­hill 100 is a 210km en­durance sprint race where the fastest of­froad cars and 4 x 4s in New Zealand con­test one of of­froad rac­ing’s most pres­ti­gious crowns. It is also the long­est run­ning mo­tor­sport event in the coun­try.

This is also the first round in a new four­round en­durance se­ries for the Ham­mer Down En­duro Crown.

The Of­froad Rac­ing As­so­ci­a­tion has re­cently ini­ti­ated a new youth de­vel­op­ment pro­gramme to en­able young rac­ers from as young as six to en­ter var­i­ous types of rac­ing lev­els in a safely con­tained ve­hi­cle.

The new­est is the Kiwi Trucks event cater­ing for eight to 15-year-olds which will de­but a mini en­durance se­ries as a cur­tain­raiser at Wood­hill.

Taine was pre­vi­ously a mo­tocross quad bike rider and says the closed-in car is much more fun. He is fully har­nessed in a roll cage so feels safe at any speed.

What­ever the out­come Taine will travel to Napier in July for the third North Is­land Na­tional Cham­pi­onship round in the Gwavas For­est. He in­tends to gain max­i­mum points to carry to the North/South fi­nal for the New Zealand ti­tle in Nel­son in Oc­to­ber.

High hopes: Thir­teen-year-old Taine Car­ring­ton of Kumeu is ready for the gru­elling Wood­hill 100 on Sun­day.

Fly­ing: Taine gets air­borne.

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