He got behind the wheel for his first race when he was 12. It’s been full on ever since then for 15 year old Lynfield College student Jarrad Green, who just lifted his first championship trophy for the Auckland Youth Ministock car series.
With twin brother Thomas chasing him, this is a very competitive family. They travel to races all over the upper North Island. Kaikohe, Waiuku, Huntly and Rotorua are frequented as dad Ross takes the two race cars on their double cab transporter truck.
Thomas started racing a bit later when he was 13. He had a nasty crash a season back which would make any mum’s heart skip a beat. Sarah says, “Ross and I were fortunate because we had turned and didn’t actually see the crash happen. Any time one of the boys gets in the lead I start to get anxious. It’s also heart-breaking when they can’t finish a race. What also worries us is when their car comes in on the back of a tow truck. I help in the pits with tyre changes and suspension but when a car is towed in we think – can we fix it for the next race? How much will it cost?”
Fortunately Thomas is a very good welder. It seems like he needs to be! The family motto is “you break it, you fix it”. Both Jarrad and Thomas have become clued up mechanically as they do most of the maintenance and repair work themselves. They work together part-time at Midas Onehunga, which allows them access to a tyre machine and other tools.
At the Ministock Championship, getting out on the track in front of big crowds at Waikaraka Park and mixing it up in a competitive class tested the nerves.
When it came to the final race it was a cliff-hanger with Jarrad and another 15 year old boy tied for points. There was a four-lap run off race to decide the championship. Most of the public had packed up for the night and were leaving when the run off race was announced.
The two drivers were both nervous because they had never had to do a one-on-one race before. The pit lane emptied as all the pit crews lined the fence to see the race. Sarah couldn’t bear to watch the race and left the pits.
Jarrad lost the coin toss and pole position. Then he messed up the start so he was in trailing position until near the end when the lead car made an error. Jarrad powered through on the inside and went on to win the race.
The crowd erupted, chanting, “Jarrad, Jarrad!” Sarah was screaming and crying. Emotion overcame Jarrad and he was crying. Ross had tears too, but muttered, “It’s pretty dusty on the track”.
The first thing Jarrad did after getting out of the car was to go over and talk to the other driver. All the senior stocks guys – Jarrad’s heroes – came over to congratulate him. The Club Promoter said it was one of the cleanest races he had witnessed.
Along with support from mum, dad and younger brother Harris, the twins also get a boost from family sponsors Grandma (in return for lawn mowing), Ross Green Contracting, and Midas Onehunga.
It’s great to see local lads come through, and Lynfield College is proud to have them as students, with Jarrad winning the Auckland Youth Ministock Championship.