Dunlop and KartSport put local Karters on Pukekohe Grid
Dunlop and KartSport New Zealand put local Karters on the Pukekohe Supercars Grid
Eight lucky young local karters have been selected by KartSport New Zealand to take part in the inaugural Dunlop Grid Kids program this weekend at the ITM Auckland SuperSprint round of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship.
Throughout the 2019 Supercars season Dunlop has worked with local karting clubs to give karters aged between 12 and 16 a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to represent Dunlop as brand ambassadors on the starting grid - providing an experience they will never forget.
This round, in Pukekohe, the Dunlop Grid Kids will be on the grid alongside Championship leader, proud Kiwi and KartSport NZ Patron Scott McLaughlin.
Tayler Payne from Hamilton Karting Club who celebrated his 13th birthday on Wednesday, is one of the lucky karters selected.
“Tayler started about three years ago, his dad used to race, so it didn’t take much convincing. He hasn’t stopped since that day”, Tayler’s mum Stephanie said.
Despite living with Cystic Fibrosis, Stephanie has never let this affect Tayler’s love of karting noting “he loves it, it lets him fit in and not be different”.
Tayler is a massive fan of fellow local Scott McLaughlin and is really excited for “the best birthday present he will ever get”.
McLaughlin began racing karts when he was eight before going on to win his first Supercars race, fittingly at Pukekohe Park Raceway in 2013 - during his first full time season.
He’s excited to be heading home and thrilled that Dunlop and Kartsport NZ will be running the Dunlop Grid Kid program at Pukekohe.
“I was lucky enough to turn my karting hobby into a profession and I hope I can inspire others to do the same,” McLaughlin said. “There’s nothing quite like race day so these kids should have the time of their lives – I can’t wait to see them on the grid!”
Tony Kiernan, Senior Brand Manager from Dunlop Tyres said Dunlop’s program provided the future talent of motorsport a glimpse into the Supercars paddock where they can mingle with their heroes.
“Dunlop Tyres has a proud history supporting motorsport and emerging motorsport talent. We are excited to be leading the way by creating amazing experiences for Dunlop Grid Kids," he said.
In New Zealand Dunlop supplies tyres for many local championships including the BNTV8s, NZRC and BMW Race Driver series. In Australia, this is Dunlop’s 18th year supplying control tyres to the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship and Dunlop Super2 Series, having extended its fifth-successive tyre contract.