Tuesday, Oct 10 09:59am
AUTHOR: Supplied/Christian Hermansen

16-year-old Jacob Cranston ready to take on the Rotax World Final

Palmerston North’s Jacob Cranston will take on the best in the world later this month at the Rotax World Final in Portimao, Portugal.

Cranston, 16, won the New Zealand leg of the Rotax Max Challenge, allowing him an entry to the prestigious World Final event, which pits over 500 of the world’s best against one another for overall honours.

“I go from being really excited about getting over there and showing them exactly how we Kiwis do it, to being nervous about going up against the absolute best of the best from around the world,” Cranston said.


“For sure, it’s a once in a life time type opportunity. I’ve been watching as much footage on YouTube of previous world finals and onboard laps from the track as possible since finding out we were going and the level of racing over there is insanely high.


Adapting to the aggressive and all-or-nothing approach in Europe will be challenging, but our aim is to make the final and see how we go there."


One other challenge which Cranston sees, is one typical to many young racing drivers who take on the world from this country.

“It’s all pretty even at the World Final itself. Your entry includes identical karts, engines, fuel, and tyres to everyone else, but we most definitely are up against it when it comes to our budget compared to what some of the top European guys will be spending.

“There’s no official testing, but of course, some of the top guys who will have been gunning for this all year will have been racing and doing laps at the track for a long me – something not available to us Kiwis.

"Plus, some of these guys are on a legitimate career path to be the next F1 superstar, so the budgets are out of comprehension for us.

“We’ve been fundraising since we were confirmed to have been going over, but no way will we be able to outspend a lot of the top guys; so we will just have to out race them

“We are running auctions for driver training track days with myself, auctioning to other generous donatoons, as well as the traditional methods of sponsorship for exposure type deals. We’ve had people pledge between $5 and $500—every little bit helps and it all adds up at the end of the day.


Cranston says he owes most of his success to the father-son team they run out of their garage at home.

“When you consider its mostly mum, dad, my sister, Maurice and Kane Frost our mechanic and engineer and I on the team doing everything for the love of it, we are a pretty small team.

"Kiwis have a proud tradition at the world final and it would be a huge help to the operation if any local people want to help me live my dream at this once in a life me opportunity.

Held over eigh rounds around New Zealand, the event a racts the best kart racers around the country. Cranston won the series comfortably, giving him a big boost of confidence heading to the Worlds.

The Rotax World Final will be held at Por co Portugal on 4th to 11th of November.