Drag racing in his genes
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.
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.