19 year old Taylor Cockerton is making his mark in the motoring world.
A racer since his early days in karting, he has made his way up the ranks through Formula First and Formula Ford which he won in 2015.
He is now in his second season of the Castrol Toyota Racing Series.
“It’s been a good start,” he says.
“We have five consecutive rounds, so every weekend we’re racing.”
After two rounds in the South Island, his latest round saw him back at his home track, Hampton Downs.
Taylor entered the competition with a goal to make it to the top six.
Coming into the third round, he was sitting in sixth.
It has been a tough run getting there. At Ruapuna, he won a race only to be delegated to fourth place after he jumped the start. “That was very disheartening,” he says.
“The other rounds were up and down,” Taylor says, having technical problems which hindered his start in qualifying. “I came back with a sixth, fifth and ninth place at Teretonga, which was good considering the wet conditions.”
The Pukekohe local is also a student at Waikato University. “I’m a student for ten months of the year and a racecar driver for only one month. That compared to several of the international drivers who are racing all year round,” he says.
Taylor says the competition is tough and the calibre of drivers is high.
“The European season is from March until November, so in their off season, they come to race the New Zealand circuits.”
But Taylor, one of three kiwi drivers in the TRS this year is holding his own.
He was feeling confident going into round three, “I’ve raced this track,” he says. “I know it well.”
Points wise, he’ll be doing his best to get to the top of the table. “It’s very close,” he says.
Note: Taylor came away with some good results from the weekend’s racing. He labelled as the best of the New Zealanders competing, after finishing in seventh place on Sunday at the Hampton Downs track.