YOUNG RANGIORA KARTER FAST CATCHING UP WITH HIS FATHER

Having earned four national titles in karts and three in cars over a career which now spans over 20 years, Hamish Cross is one of New Zealand's most successful kart-turned-car racers. Yet after just three years, the 36-year-old Rangiora man's 12-year-old son Caleb is catching up - fast!CalebCrossactionlr-1.jpg

Two years ago Caleb won his first major title - in the Cadet class - at KartSport New Zealand's annual Schools' championship meeting in Dunedin. Then later that year he won his first major Island title - again in the Cadet class - at KartSport New Zealand's North Island championship meeting in the Hawke's Bay. 

Last year was a relatively quiet year on the national scene as he learnt the ropes in the next age group class up, Junior Restricted 100cc Yamaha.

This year though the Year 9 week-day boarder at Christchurch's Medbury School is back at his winning best, taking out the Junior Restricted title at the KartSport Canterbury club's annual Club Championship meeting in March, and his first national title - the Junior Restricted class one - at the KartSport New Zealand National Sprint Championship meeting in Wellington at Easter.

With his own career (this year he is contesting the UDC New Zealand V8 Ute Series in a BNT-backed Ford Falcon) still ticking along nicely Caleb's father Hamish is not ready to pass the baton to his son just yet. But both he and family friend  Graham Wehner (who has been instrumental in Hamish's success and has gone on to help him with Caleb's burgeoning karting career) reckon it's only a matter of time.

Last weekend Hamish and Graham were in Wellington running Caleb at the final round of the WPKA Gold Star series (where Caleb won a heat race and finished third in his class). At the end of the month the trio head to Nelson and Blenheim for the two-day Sunbelts meeting over Queen's Birthday weekend.HamishandCalebCrosslr-1.jpg

Later next month (June) they cross the Tasman for Caleb's first taste of international competition at the Queensland Open State Championship Title meeting  at Bundaberg then in July they will be back in Christchurch contesting the 2013 KartSport New Zealand's annual Schools Championship meeting.

And that is just the next three months.

With at least another year in the Junior Restricted 100cc Yamaha class then two or three in Junior 100cc Yamaha, Caleb could quite possibly eclipse his father's four national kart title haul before he even graduates to the Senior ranks.

And then?

With success in karts a prerequisite if you want to be taken seriously as a racing driver these days Caleb is already well placed to follow in the footsteps of his father - or better still those of a driver who was a close family friend, the late Jason Richards.

"When people ask him what he wants to do that's what he tells them," says Hamish. "He wants to be a V8 Supercar racer. Like Jason was."

CAPTIONS:
Father and son Hamish and Caleb Cross from Rangiora. And Caleb in action at the final round of the WPKA Gold Star series in Wellington last Sunday. Photo credit Fast Company/Jordan Moss

Prepared by FAST COMPANY on behalf of the Cross family. For more information on Hamish or Caleb Cross contact Ross MacKay on 021 677 919 or via e-mail at ross@fastcompany.co.nz Hamish can be contacted for further comment on 0274 585 216

 
KartSport New Zealand