Rider set to burn rubber
Eleven-year-old Jayde Smith will be in the lineup of drivers at kart racing's South Island Sprint Champs at Otatara from October 25 to 27.
Jayde, who will compete in the junior restricted grade, is among the south's promising drivers with hopes of doing well at the champs.
In preparation for the three-day carnival, Jayde is getting advice from senior driver Jamie Conroy, who has been involved in the sport for 12 years.
''Jayde's a good listener and applies what you are talking about,'' Conroy, of Invercargill, said.
''He's going to be reasonably competitive [at the champs].''
Jayde's brother, Corey, 10, is entered for cadet class and has also been tapping into Conroy's knowledge.
''Both of them are coming along well.''
The Smith brothers live at Riversdale.
The champs are the biggest kart racing event in Southland for the year.
Kartsport Southland officials have hopes of a large crowd at the Invercargill Oilshop Kart Raceway.
''It's as big as it gets for us,'' said Conroy, who expects 100 drivers from all over the South Island to be in action.
He will be racing in two classes, KZ2 and Yamaha light. The stalwart has won two South Island Champs titles and earlier bagged a national schools title.
The top three drivers from the Formula Ford National Championship for the 2012-13 season - James Munro (Christchurch), Michael Collins (Christchurch) and Brendan Leitch (Invercargill) - are attending the champs at Labour Weekend.
Munro will be up against Conroy in the KZ2 grade, Collins is in the Rotax heavy class and Leitch will contest the Rotax light division.
Other well-known drivers coming south include New Zealand champions Marcus Armstrong (junior Yamaha class) and James Penrose (senior Yamaha light), of Christchurch, New Zealand secondary schools champion Ryan McPherson (junior Yamaha), of Christchurch, and South Island champions, and Jacob Mitchell (cadet), of Christchurch.
- © Fairfax NZ News