Drag rac­ing in his genes

South Waikato News - - FRONT PAGE - By CAITLIN WAL­LACE

At 6 months old, Jeremy Hew­son was thrusted into the world of drags by his dad, now he has built his own car and won a pro im­port class in a na­tional drag event.

The 30- year old Pu­taruru pan­el­beater won the fi­nal against three other cars in the 4 and Ro­tary na­tional drags for Ja­panese cars.

It was al­most in­evitable for the man who watched his first race be­fore he could walk.

The win means Hew­son and his car will be sent to the Bris­bane Jam­boree later this year.

This will be his sec­ond visit to the event.

‘‘All my he­roes were rac­ing and now I’m rac­ing against them.’’

His 1982 Toy­ota Star­let can reach 220kmh in just un­der 10 sec­onds, he said.

But he was far from bet­ting on a win at the New Zealand cham­pi­onship.

‘‘It was a lot slower [than the other cars], I didn’t think I had a chance.

It turned out speed wasn’t ev­ery­thing.

The track was so hot that the other com­peti­tors lost trac­tion and crossed their bound­ary, dis­qual­i­fy­ing them, he said.

‘‘ Slow and steady wins the race.’’

He had spent more than three years build­ing the car him­self.

‘‘I bought the shell and the very next day I chopped it into pieces.’’

His dad would al­ways try to help but Hew­son was adamant he would do it his way.

‘‘I try not to let him do too much, he said it should be like this and this.’’

It ap­pears do­ing it him­self has paid off and Hew­son said the win was re­ward enough for his dad.

It was his ‘‘first big project’’ but one that was al­ways on the cards.

‘‘Dad had me at two years old in front of the tele­vi­sion watch­ing drags . . .

He’s re­spon­si­ble for my petrol­head­ness.’’

The car en­thu­si­asts were al­ways glued to the tele­vi­sion or trav­el­ling to Mere­mere Race­way.

‘‘ I was just in awe at the un­be­liev­ably fast cars and just the smell of the petrol fumes.’’

And since his teen years, he made sure he never missed a 4 and Ro­tary drags.

While it is still seven months un­til his big race he knows who he’ll take – his dad.

Pu­taruru’s Jeremy Hew­son built his Toy­ota Star­let into a

drag car and went on to win this year’s pro im­port fi­nal at the 4 and Ro­tary na­tion­als.

Photo: SIGGY, SE PHOTOGRAPHY

FAST AND FU­RI­OUS: Jeremy Hew­son’s Toy­ota Star­let was the only one left stand­ing in this year’s pro im­port fi­nal at the 4 and Ro­tary na­tion­als.

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