Taste for speed and success

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Taylor Harte has his sights set in the Rotax World champs in Spain later this year and is a current New Zealand karting titleholder.
Taylor Harte has his sights set in the Rotax World champs in Spain later this year and is a current New Zealand karting titleholder.

Taylor Harte has his sights set on the Rotax World champs in Spain later this year and is a current New Zealand karting titleholder.

Racing runs in Taylor Harte's blood. The 13-year-old New Zealand karting titleholder was born in Indianapolis, where his father Dane had the honour of being the crew mechanic on a team that won an Indy 500.

The father-and-son team are an enthusiastic combination with their sights set high. Taylor loves the sport and says he's addicted to the speed and adrenalin rush.

"I like to win," he says, "and I'm really competitive."

At the moment he is ranked second in the Rotax Challenge Series and if Taylor can reach the number one spot he'll go to the world championships in Spain.

He started racing as a six-year-old, after being inspired by his dad.

On the track, Taylor is a force to be reckoned with and says he wasn't always a good qualifier, but used his wits to put in top performances.

"You have got to be thinking all the time and out-manoeuvring the other drivers. I always try to get around the first corner without crashing and get into pole position."

Dane is proud of his son. He started karting as a five-year-old and was also a national champion before pursuing his own career in motor racing.

He coached Taylor as a youngster, but says his skills have developed.

"Nowadays he makes his own decisions... he is definitely doing his own thing, but I help him along with his goals."

Karting forged strong relationships and that was the most important aspect, he says.

"The whole goal in karting is the father-and-son bond, you can't really pin the results on going to the worlds... karting itself is the drive, it's inspirational."

Former New Zealand karting champion and driver trainer Brad Tyrrell says Taylor is dedicated and has made great progress.

He's currently working out at SPEE Training and Taylor's fitness transformation has been amazing, he says.

"We've had a big-time focus on fitness for concentration levels. Kart drivers come under a lot of pressure so it's important to have stamina.

"Races can last up to 15 minutes and it's quite physical because you have no suspension so any jolts go straight through your body."

Brad has worked with young drivers for years and says watching them succeed is a real buzz.

- BAY OF PLENTY TIMES

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