Selwyn speedster a rising star

by Kent Caddick

Following his win in the Kartsport NZ National Sprint Championships recently, 11-year-old Jacob Douglas from Lincoln has earned a place in the New Zealand team to compete at the International ROK Cup Finals in Italy, where he will drive for the OTK Kart Group, which is owned by seven-times F1 world champion Michael Schumacher.

Douglas’ dominance at the national sprint titles has also caught the eye of two leading New Zealand motorsport figures, Greg Murphy and Shane Van Gisbergen, who have both called the Lincoln youngster to pass on their congratulations.

Murphy has also invited Jacob to have a drive in a BMW touring car at Pukekohe racetrack, an invite his father, Craig Douglas, said they will take when Jacob gets a little more experience.

Craig said that heading into the nationals at Invercargill, they thought Jacob was on track.

“We were hopeful that we would win, we knew we had a fair chance and we had trained for all scenarios,” Craig said. “Jacob had broken the lap record at the track only weeks before so we also knew we were fast.”

However, his son’s dominance of the competition had the proud father in raptures.

Eleven-year-old Jacob Douglas from Lincoln shows off the spoils of 
victory after winning theNational Sprint Championship title 
Photo by Richard Dimmock

“He was in incredible form all day, winning both of his heats, and when he crossed the finish line in Invercargill, he didn’t just win the national title, he owned it. 

“In a sport that is dominated by tenths of a second finishes, he beat the second placegetter by a remarkable 4.1 seconds.”

Jacob, who attends Medbury School in Christchurch, is trained by Matthew Hamilton of WKS Kartstore and British karting number one Tiffany Chittenden.

Craig said Jacob lives and breathes motor racing and is passionate about making his mark on a world stage.

That is just what he is getting the chance to do in October when he goes to Italy as the New Zealand representative at the International ROK Cup Finals. driving for the team owned by Schumacher. “Being able to perform at this prestigious event in front of major motorsport teams and world media is a once in a lifetime opportunity for Jacob and any possible sponsors,” Craig said.

“Not only does he have the technical skill to succeed, but he has the mental strength required to get to the top.”