Kart racer has sights set on V8 Supercars

Class act . . . KartSport Dunedin member Marissa Ahlfeld, of Mosgiel. PHOTO: SHAWN MCAVINUE

In a series, reporter Shawn McAvinue spends five minutes with Dunedin motorsport enthusiasts about their passion for their form of racing.

Marissa Ahlfeld (14), of Mosgiel.

When did you start kart racing?

About seven years ago. My dad Mark races – we compete in a team, M&M Racing. Dad took me to the track from a young age.

What class do you race in?

I’ve been competing in the junior rotax class for two years. The class is for drivers aged 11-15, racing karts with a 125cc engine.

Are you a member of any club?

Yes, KartSport Dunedin. We are lucky to have a really good club here. The club has seven drivers racing in my class but a few more drivers are set to step up in my class after Labour Weekend. We travel to competitions across the South Island.

How did you do in your latest competition?

I’ve entered for the Mainland Series. I competed in the two-day Sunbelts meeting in Nelson and Blenheim on Queen’s Birthday Weekend. There were 12 drivers in my class and I finished sixth. I’m sitting third in the series as not every driver entered in the series.

I’ll be driving in the Southern Series in Invercargill and Dunedin in August. I’ll compete in the Garden City Champs in Christchurch in September.

How many girls were you racing against in Marlborough?

I was one of two girls racing in the class. There are three girls in my class racing in the South Island. More girls race in the North Island. I’m the only one of the three girls who has progressed through the grades.

How do boys take it when they get beaten by a girl?

It depends on the boy. Some don’t like it. It spurs others to try harder to beat me next time. They don’t take it easy on me and I wouldn’t want that anyway.

What’s your long-term goal?

I want to keep racing for as long as I can and if I get any opportunities I’ll go for them. I’d like to race V8 Supercars.

Leading the way . . . Kart racer Marissa Ahlfeld enters a bend, followed by Lachie Penrose, at Silverstream Raceway in North Taieri in May. PHOTO: LLOYD PALMER PHOTOGRAPHY