It’s full throttle for Year 4 student and Patamahoe local Emerson Vincent who has just won his first national title in Karting.
Aged just 9, Emerson placed first in the 9-13 years division of the New Zealand Schools Karting Championship, representing ACG Strathallan to be crowned National Schools Champion.
Emerson has been Karting for two-and-a-half years and practises 2-3 times a week driving on the track. Competing against students from 20 other schools, Emerson took first place, winning his first national title.
“I was excited and I liked standing on the podium because you get to see all your trophies that get given to you,” he said.
He said the key skills to Karting were sticking to the right lines on the track so people don’t pass you on the corners and not to be afraid to put the throttle down.
“If you’re scared and don’t want to go full flat you won’t get anywhere, but you have to go full throttle if you want to win, or get top three,” he explained.
He’s not just successful on the track, he’s also a pleasure to have in the classroom and a natural leader, according to his teachers.
“For someone that is so competitive on the racetrack he is one of the kindest students I have ever taught; he has massive empathy for others and is the first to help out if someone is upset,” said teacher Cherie Boucher-Cunningham. “Emerson has a great attitude toward school work and will always try his best even if he finds a task tricky. Plus, he’s a natural leader when working as part of a group.”
As for the future, Emerson aspires to win the New Zealand nationals and race in Italy where there’s more competition in his class. Meantime, he’s aiming to stay in the top three places in all his races. He’s in good company – his Dad, Jody Vincent, was a semi-professional racer.
Along with Karting, Emerson enjoys playing rugby for Karaka.