Christchurch-based karter Louis Sharp has been handpicked by DJR Team Penske ace Fabian Coulthard for Repco’s Young Driver Scholarship Programme.
Launched late last year, the program sees Repco team with the Shell V-Power Racing outfit in an effort to nurture aspiring talent.
Last year saw 11-year-old Tom Bewley selected by Scott McLaughlin as the reward’s first recipient.
Coulthard says Sharp, who has been breaking New Zealand karting records up and down the nation, made a strong impression on him and was unquestionably a deserving recipient for the prize.
“I put a lot of thought into who I wanted to mentor,” said Coulthard
“I’ve watched Louis’ performances over the years, and he has impressed with not only his ability on the track but also his maturity.
“I know Louis will get the job done wherever he races, but above that he is well presented, marketable and speaks in front of the camera with confidence which are all qualities that are required to be the complete package.”
12-year-old Sharp added his excitement to the opportunity:
“When I received the call from Fabian Coulthard to tell me he had selected me, I was so excited.
“My dream is to be a race car driver just like Fabian, so having someone like him to talk to and get advice from is really cool.
“I would like to race my kart overseas next year, and this scholarship will be a big help.”
Repco Australia executive general manager Wayne Bryant says the programme is the perfect platform for launching the careers of future professional racing drivers.
“Repco has a long and proud history in motorsport, and having a program that supports the grassroots of the sport is vitally important to ensure the best and most talented drivers make their way to the top, regardless of their circumstances,” Bryant said.
“We are not only proud to be supporting a skilled and capable young driver like Louis to help him realise his dream, but we are also looking forward to following his progress and seeing where his career takes him.”
Sharp made his Formula Ford debut at Mike Pero Motorsport Park last week where an unfortunate incident ruled him out of a strong finish.