Ben Morrison of Maungaturoto is NZ speedway’s third-ranked driver at the age of 16

Podium finish for rising star

by Andy Bryenton

Last year, Ben Morrison was Rookie of the Year in the highly competitive sport of TQ speedway racing. The 16-year-old driver from Maungaturoto went into the new season with big goals, and he’s now scored the title of third best in New Zealand, against adults with much more experience under their belts.

“It’s a pretty surreal feeling,” admits the up-and-coming racing champion.

“It’s only our second full season in, and others have been doing this for a decade or more. After scoring the 3NZ trophy, we went out to the next race meeting and came in second overall.”

Commanding massive horsepower in a controlled slide on a dirt track, against adult veterans, might seem daunting to others, but Ben says that “he’s never known any other life”. He says that his childhood was spent around the racetrack and that his earliest memories involve good times with his family in the sport.

Ben has received support from his family and from locals who have rallied around his cause, seeing his potential. One supporter is local real estate professional Gary Morris, who receives grateful thanks from the young racer for organizing a fund raiser in 2019 and continuing to support his cause..

As the 2020 season ends at the national champs in Greymouth, we asked Ben about the possibility of lifting the number one trophy in a year’s time.

“It’s always nice to go one better,” he says. “However, the top priority is to live up to the expectations of being third-ranked in New Zealand.”

An off-season of practice on a speciality-built simulator will help keep Ben sharp; he’s also the nation’s top racer in virtual reality.