Young drivers racing for charity
Quentin Hammond would normally balk at racing a car with pink wheels, but when it's to raise funds to help breast cancer patients, he's all for it.
The 17-year-old Awatapu College student, who lost his mother to cancer when he was 10, is captaining a team of five Awatapu drivers in the stock teams derby at the speedway in Palmerston North this weekend.
Their cars, built by the engineering class at the school, are sporting pink wheels in support of Sweet Louise, a charity aimed at improving the lives of New Zealanders with secondary breast cancer.
"I never thought I'd hop into a race car with pink wheels, but it looks like I'm doing it at the weekend," Hammond said yesterday. "It's for a good cause so I couldn't be happier."
He said he became aware of the cause when fellow student Panayota Dowrick addressed an assembly and spoke about the 10K for $10K fun run being planned for next month in support of Sweet Louise.
"I lost my mum to cancer when I was 10 years old so it's a pretty touchy subject for me. I thought if we could raise some money it would be a cool thing to do.
"Obviously this is for a really good cause and even if we raise 100 bucks I'll be keen, as long as we raise something."
His teammates immediately bought into the idea. The class had been working hard in the past few weeks to get the cars ready for the weekend's race.
"Everything's set except the drivers," said Hammond, whose father is experienced superstock teams racer Darryl. "We're all a bit nervous. We're a school team going up against 12 teams of adults. We're the only bunch of 17-year-olds in the derby."
He said the main idea was to have fun, but supporting the charity would provide extra motivation. "We've got something else to drive for."