First time ro­tary racer sure gets around

South Waikato News - - Your Paper, Your Place - LUKE KIRKEBY

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.

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