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Twenty rising and established young stars of New Zealand motorsport will feature in a brand-new display at the 2014 edition of CRC Speedshow.
Dubbed the Kiwi Young Guns, the new feature recognises the incredible depth of talent of young New Zealanders across all forms of two and four-wheeled motor sports.
CRC Speedshow director Ross Prevette says the idea evolved from the extremely popular New Zealand Legends of Speed display at last year’s show.
“Everyone, including the legends who attended, enjoyed the whole concept of the New Zealand Legends of Speed display and seeing the race cars and bikes which were so meaningful in our legends’ careers. The Kiwi Young Guns embraces the same concept but approaches it from the opposite angle to allow us to meet 20 future Kiwi legends of speed,” Prevette says.
The final selection of the 20 young stars, all aged 25 or under, will be made by CRC Speedshow fans via the show’s busy Facebook page.
“It’s exciting to see Kiwi drivers and riders competing with success all over the world and here at home. They’re making huge waves in the international motorsport community and flying the flag for New Zealand as professional sportspeople. For a variety of reasons their achievements are not always well-publicised, so this is a chance to shine the spotlight on these young men and women to celebrate their current achievements and their potential for much more.”
Immediate picks for the Kiwi Young Guns line-up are two of New Zealand’s most successful and well-established young drivers, single seater racer Mitch Evans, from Auckland, and Christchurch-born V8 driver Scott McLaughlin.
Evans won the 2010 and 2011 Toyota Racing Series, and the New Zealand Grand Prix when aged 16, believed to be the youngest international grand prix winner anywhere in the world. He then ensured his debut European season was a stunning success, securing a hard-fought GP3 Series title in 2012. Taking another significant step in the world of open wheeler racing, Evans contested the 2013 GP2 Series and, now aged 19, has just left for Europe to confirm his plans for the current season.
Closer to home, 20-year-old McLaughlin has also made history. At just 16 years of age, McLaughlin joined Stone Brothers Racing to contest the 2010 Fujitsu V8 Supercar Series, making him the youngest-ever V8 Supercar driver. The following season he took his first V8 Supercar race win before going on to win the development series title in 2012. Through the same period, McLaughlin was also racing in New Zealand where he became the youngest-ever driver to win a race in the New Zealand V8 touring car championship at age 17 early in 2011. He then secured a high profile series victory in the first-ever V8 SuperTourers championship. By the start of 2013, McLaughlin was a rookie in Australia motorsport’s ‘main game’, the V8 Supercars Championship with Garry Rogers Motorsport, where he took two race wins – a significant achievement as a rookie – and was presented with the Young Gun Award. In 2014, the young Kiwi will compete one of the team’s new Volvo V8 Supercars in Australia.
Prevette says: “We’re absolutely delighted to welcome Scott McLaughlin and Mitch Evans as the first of our Kiwi Young Guns – these guys are living the dream as professional race drivers. We understand that professional commitments may mean that they can’t join us at CRC Speedshow in July but we look forward to having vehicles which played a significant role in their early careers on display for all to enjoy.
“We’re also looking forward to seeing which other Kiwi Young Guns that New Zealand motorsport fans choose to nominate and vote for across all major motorsport categories – speedway, off road racing, rallying, motocross, and motorbike, saloon car and single seating circuit racing. Make sure you check the CRC Speedshow Facebook page; public voting for the Kiwi Young Guns starts 17 February.”
The eighth edition of CRC Speedshow takes place at Auckland’s ASB Showgrounds over the weekend of 19 and 20 July 2014 with five halls full of hundreds of display vehicles and opportunities to meet racing stars and enjoy top-class entertainment in the Ideal Wheels live action arena. Follow CRC Speedshow on Twitter (https://twitter.com/Speedshow), Facebook (www.Facebook.com/speedshownz) and Pinterest (http://pinterest.com/speedshow/) or see the website www.speedshow.co.nz.