Kiwi karter Jacob Douglas has touched down in Italy just under three weeks out from his record fourth ROK Cup SuperFinal appearance.
Douglas and his travelling bubble successfully navigated the impending border restrictions which posed the most significant risk to derail his plans.
His mother Rowena detailed the travel experience as uncanny, but the team were relieved to arrive with sufficient time to begin final preparations.
“It’s been a very bizarre travel experience and I’ve only been away a handful of times so I’m by no means a seasoned traveller,’ she said. “The airports are empty and eerily quiet.
“Getting into Auckland International passports and travel itineraries have to be shown at the door, friends and family wave you off from across the way.
“There was no switching seats on the plane, a plane that was surprisingly full from Auckland but very empty to Milan. No shops open at all after security in Auckland, in Dubai most of them were open in the main area, but the walk to our gate was pretty surreal, everything roped off and wrapped in bubble wrap.”
This year the final will be held at the South Garda Karting complex in North Italy under strict Covid-19 regulations.
Having qualified by winning two of the three ROK Cup NZ rounds, Douglas and 25-year-old Palmerston North karter Arie Hutton are the two confirmed Kiwi representatives set to contest the 18th rendition of the popular event.
Last year the high-flier stepped up to the Junior OK class where he claimed the Bridgestone Trophy for an outright class win with an emphatic victory over Australian rival Luke Pink. He became the first New Zealander to win the award.
Douglas also contested in three rounds of the FIA Karting Academy Trophy where he finished 11th overall despite a costly collision in the first event.
The 15-year-old will undergo two weeks of managed isolation in the resort town of Desenzano before his first on-track session for the ROK Cup Trophy.