South Waikato rac­ers are bolt­ing out of the blocks and are ce­ment­ing the district as a hot bed for driv­ing tal­ent.

South Waikato News - - RURAL DELIVERY -

The drivers, some of whom are sec­ondary school stu­dents, are gar­ner­ing win­ning rep­u­ta­tions and are con­tin­u­ing fam­ily lega­cies. Toko­roa young­ster Cody Tay­lor is one of the drivers in a hurry. The 15-year-old took up min­i­s­tocks three years ago and hasn’t looked back. While he has been com­pet­ing since 2010, the Toko­roa stu­dent has al­ready ac­cu­mu­lated stun­ning re­sults. ‘‘I started in 2010, that was the first year that I raced. (That year) I was named Sports­man of the Year for Min­i­s­tocks Ro­torua. In 2011 I won quite a few of the races that I en­tered,’’ he said. Cody is also aware of how heated com­pe­ti­tion can get. ‘‘In 2012 I com­peted in the Min­i­s­tocks in Par­adise which was held at the Ro­torua Speed­way,’’ he said. ‘‘I was a tar­get dur­ing the race. I was get­ting smashed from ev­ery­one in the race. (I came) close to last.’’ The For­est View High School stu­dent is con­tin­u­ing a fam­ily legacy. ‘‘It has been in my fam­ily for gen­er­a­tions. Prob­a­bly since the 1980s or the 1970s. Since right back when the club first started,’’ the speed­ster said last week. ‘‘I am pretty up there. When we are rac­ing in com­pe­ti­tion, I am al­ways up there.’’ He ad­mit­ted that next year is his last year com­pet­ing at his cur­rent level. ‘‘I will then move up into Stock­cars and I will be com­pet­ing with ev­ery­one up to how old they can get. ‘‘I want to be in the Ro­torua Rebel Su­per Stocks. They are the cars that can really do some dam­age,’’ he added. Toko­roa’s James and Keaton Dahm are also tear­ing up the track. James has raced at Sprint­cars for the last eight sea­sons with much success in­clud­ing two Bay of Plenty cham­pi­onships, a podium plac­ing in the New Zealand Sprint­car Grandprix and twice ac­cu­mu­lat­ing the most points over a full sea­son’s rac­ing lead­ing him to be­ing named as the Bay­park Club Cham­pion. This sea­son James has one fea­ture race win and a hand­ful of heat race wins. He also led the New Zealand Sprint­car Grandprix fea­ture race be­fore an en­gine is­sue ended his chances. Mean­while, his brother Keaton is in his sec­ond sea­son of sprint­car rac­ing and is gain­ing more con­fi­dence and speed with ev­ery meet­ing. The end of Keaton’s rookie sea­son last year saw him score a hand­ful of podium fin­ishes at var­i­ous tracks across the North Is­land and se­cure the Rookie of the Year award at the end of the sea­son awards night. He has built a solid foun­da­tion of con­sis­tency and this ap­proach has paid off this year with a sixth plac­ing at the New Zealand Sprint­car Grandprix, a 10th place fin­ish at the New Zealand Sprint­car Cham­pi­onship and most re­cently a sev­enth place fin­ish at the Bay of Plenty Cham­pi­onship.

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