Young radio car racer competes against adults
He may be just 12 but New Plymouth boy Gage Peters is streets ahead of the other drivers at the North Island IC radio controlled off-road championships.
Gage won the truggy class with his nitro methane-powered race car and took out fourth in the buggy class at the Taranaki Radio Controlled Car Club-hosted event at the weekend.
He said he was "pretty stoked" with his win. "I had a pretty good run, I thought I had a good chance."
Gage has been racing the high-powered cars, which can reach speeds of up to 60kmh, for about six years, and said it sometimes felt strange racing against adults.
"It was a bit weird because they were all yelling and screaming."
Gage made Sunday's final after a series of qualifying races starting on Friday.
He told the Taranaki Daily News he ran through song lyrics in his head to help his concentration during the 45-minute race.
The method proved a success with Gage finishing about a lap ahead of his nearest rival.
He got into the sport watching his father Hayden and uncles Shaun and Lyell race, but was now leaving them in the dust.
Dad said he had given up trying to keep up with his son and was pleased with his success.
"You get used to getting beaten after a while," he said.
"We knew when he started that he had something special, so it was always the goal to have him beat us and then the rest of New Zealand.
"I think it's pretty awesome and a lot of other people are saying the same thing; he's definitely got a good future ahead."
Uncle Shaun, who placed 12th in the final of the truggy class, agreed his nephew had a bright future.
"I just had to let him go and watch him lap me over and over again," he said.
"When I go out there and race next to him there is no way I can follow his lines, he is a very aggressive and clean driver."
The family travel together to events around the country and they all race the same brand of car, but there's never any argument about the pecking order for spare parts.
"We will fix his [Gage's] first," Shaun said.
Gage said he wanted to compete at the Australian championships in July, the New Zealand national championships in November and would like to earn an invitation to the world championships one day.
Taranaki Daily News