He’s just 13 and already Kelling it

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Every second weekend Trey Kelling tears around the speedway track in his youth ministock, clocking speeds of up to 50kph. But the 13 year old rookie still has to wait another three years before he can legally drive on the road.

Trey has been involved in six race meetings during his inaugural season after he was encouraged to sign up by his father’s friend – who is none other than three time New Zealand superstock champion Craig Boote.

Trey, a former go-kart racer, was attending the speedway with his father Brad, who builds the bodies for Boss Motorsport, when the youth ministocks came out to race. Three days later and there was a newly purchased vehicle in the garage. “Mum wasn’t too happy about that,” says Trey, who was just 12 years old at the time, making him the youngest driver in the field.

The first task was simple: learn how to drive. “I was stressing a bit just being able to handle the clutch. The racing part of it wasn’t that bad, it was pretty straight forward. Dad just said stick to the inside and stay out of trouble. It will be a lot different when I actually learn to drive on the road because I can’t hoon around.”

Brad’s instructions were for Trey to “drive round and round and not do anything stupid”. “He’s my prized possession so it’s a bit hard putting him in a car, knowing he can’t drive a car, and sending him out there with a bunch of 16 and 17 year old boys who are pretty mature kids,” he says. “You feel like you’re putting him out there like a lamb to the slaughter.”

But last weekend something changed. Brad’s orders weren’t to just go round and round, it was up to Trey to drive how he wanted to drive and he ended up seventh overall on the night, landing him the Rookie of the Year.

The 7n driver will stay in youth ministocks for as long as possible before transitioning onto superstocks, following the path of the current 2NZ Dale McKenzie and the current 3NZ Thomas Stanaway. “They spent a lot of time in youth ministocks driving with limited power so once they step up to superstocks with all the power they’re lightning fast. Tom has even offered for Trey to have a test drive in his superstock and the same with Craig.”

Next year the family have committed to getting three engines and two chassis built, touring the North Island and potentially adding a second Kelling to the race grid. “His sister wants to race. She’s 11 and will be 12 just two weeks after the season starts so hopefully we can get dispensation.”