First time rotary racer sure gets around
When it comes to beginners luck rotary racer Brendan Mcgovern certainly has plenty.
Despite having never raced before the Putaruru man has managed to finish the 2016-17 New Zealand Rotary Racing Enthusiasts (NZRRE) Series second overall.
The impressive feat earned him first place for a novice racer and his support team, which features Tauranga couple Scott Hoebergen and Hayley Te Tau, were awarded best team.
Mcgovern drives a self-built road registered 1974 Datsun 1200 which he brought for $450 ten years ago from a Putaruru local.
‘‘We have had an absolute ball this season so it’s just a bonus that we did well,’’ he said.
‘‘I’m probably most proud of the team award followed by the second place award because I could not have done this without Scott and Hayley who are also proud as punch.’’
He said at times it was nerveracking being a newbie up against 15-30 competitors in each round of the series.
‘‘The first round was the hardest. I was walking around in a daze really because it was so daunting,’’ he said.
‘‘I had no idea what I was doing so the other guys in the class were having to spoon feed me the whole event.’’
‘‘After we got a few events under our belts there was then the pressure from other competitors; ... can I hold them off? But you begin to learn that it all comes down to your driving, being in tune with your car, and knowing that everything runs on its limits so you know when to push and when not to.’’
‘‘The class that we race in is also one big family really, we will pass each other and we will wave, so that really helps,’’ he said.
He said it was rewarding to see the years he has spent working on his car pay off.
‘‘It all started around 16 years ago when I was fitting milking machines because it was during that time that I brought the car. I was learning to weld while fitting the machines so I would go home and do a bit on the car to practice,’’ he laughed.
‘‘Apart from the roll cage everything has been built by myself and friends and it just goes to show that a backyard person can build a reliable car.’’
Mcgovern said he now hopes to take part in the Targa New Zealand road race and thanked those who have helped him along the way.