Rising Kiwi road-race stars Jake Lewis and Daniel Mettam are on their way to Europe this week.
The two teenagers are off to Spain to compete in the “Road To Red Bull Rookies Cup” qualification races. The two-day trial is set for September 14-15 at the Monte Blanco circuit near Sevilla, in the south of the country.
For 15-year-old Yamaha rider Lewis, from Rangiora, and 14-year-old Mettam, from Glen Eden, it is a huge step.
The trial will be difficult for the pair and they will have to withstand rigorous scrutiny and testing before they can qualify to race in the Red Bull Rookies Cup series proper.
“I’m so very excited about this and intend give my very best with the fantastic opportunity I have been given,” said Lewis.
The year 11 student at Rangiora High School has been racing just on two years and already he is starting to make an impact in the sport, making his debut in the 125GP class at the nationals this season, racing for Team VB Racing, owned and managed by Hawke’s Bay’s Maarty van Booma.
Lewis has a real racing pedigree too. Jake’s dad, Rob Lewis, was a noted superbike rider in his day and was also a top V8 car racer.
Racing a Yamaha TZ125 in the 125GP class for the first time this season, Jake Lewis finished 12th in the New Zealand Superbike Championships, despite contesting just two of the five rounds and also crashing out of the last race of the series.
The 2010 nationals wrapped up at the new Hampton Downs circuit, near Meremere, in March and he has already vowed to be back to contest the 125GP class again next season.
But, in the meantime, he’s on his way to the big time and potentially a career racing the world’s elite on some of the most famous race tracks in Europe.
For Mettam, too, it is going to be an exciting adventure.
Mettam has been riding a Kawasaki KR150 in the streetstock class in New Zealand for the past six months, racing under the Taupo-based Wolf Pack Racing colours, and he has used this bike to set lap records at the new Hampton Downs circuit near Meremere and also at the Taupo race track this year.
Mettam’s rise through the ranks has been nothing short of sensational.
He finished last in his first ever race on tarseal, at the Taupo track in May last year. By October of the same year he won both races ahead of the same field of about 20 riders at the final round of the Victoria Motorcycle Club’s Winter Series at Manfeild – going from zero to hero in just five months.
© Words and photo by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com