Timaru teenager Will Kitching is eager to make his single-seater debut this weekend in the final round of the South Island Formula 1600 championship.
The 14-year-old is preparing for May’s New Zealand Formula Ford festival held at Mike Pero Motorsport park in Christchurch.
An aspiring Formula 1 driver, this weekend’s event, also at the Christchurch circuit, will mark Kitching’s first step out of the 2K Cup series.
“I grew up around racing when I was around five-years-old with dad racing in the 2K Cup South Island series,” Kitching told Velocity News.
“I then finally got to have a go racing with dad when I was about 12.
“It was a good way to learn all about racing side-by-side with others and how to handle a slipping and sliding car.”
Kitching’s break in Formula Ford comes thanks to the support of family friend and ex-V8 Supercar team owner Nigel Barclay.
Barclay has been assisting Kitching in the transition from tin-tops to single-seaters, offering the youngster words of advice.
“Dad, with the help of Nigel, managed to get me this opportunity in the Formula Ford.
“Nigel has been really good in setting up the car.
“I’m now starting to get my confident with each test run and my lap times keep coming down.”
Like any rookie, Kitching says calming the day one nerves will be his primary focus.
After that, he says he should be able to quickly come to terms with the new car and new environment.
“I’m nervous, yeah. But it is an exciting opportunity.
“It is my first time in a single-seater and I am still learning everything.
“I looked down at my gauge yesterday and I was hitting 196 km/hr. I never reached those speeds in the 2K Cup.
“Other things like sitting so close to the ground, having lots of corner grip and having your head move around in the air with no roof is all new to me too.
“I don’t expect to be up the front. I am still learning.
“But once I get my first race under the belt then I should be on my way.”
Kitching hopes to contest the full season of the South Island Formula 1600 championship next year.