Te Puna-based Formula Ford racer Kim Crocker is showing that age is nothing but a number.
The 70-year-old has been racing cars on and off since 1978, and is showing no signs of slowing down – clocking up a with his regional win over thethis month at the second round of the 2022 Giltrap Group North Island Formula Ford Series at Taupo Motorsport Park.
Placing second after Kim in his Ray GR14, was Hayden Bekkerus, who is 17 years old, while third place went to Judd Christiansen, aged 13, who was on debut in his first Formula Ford meeting.
Kim first started racing after helping his brother start off, when he bought a racecar at age 22.
He won his first ever race meeting, and since then he’ has been chasing after that feeling.
“I lived in Hamilton at the time. I raced for about five years before I went to England,” says Kim.
He then went to England to continue his race racing career and ended up working in IT, which lasted a lot longer than anticipated. “I went to England to work for six months, and I didn’t return for 25 years.”
Kim built a few cars in England, and appreciates what formula racing taught him. “Racing teaches you a lot about car control. You can learn how to drift around a corner at 200km/hr.”
Kim also says racing is a very social sport, and he enjoys the company of people at his race meetings.
“Everyone is happy to go round to other pits and ask for parts they may need. It’s very sociable, everyone takes spare parts, but not always the same parts. The young people also don’t mind me around.”
Although Kim put the brakes on his racing career for 30 years after he had children, he got back into motor racing when he was about 50 after returning to New Zealand in 2003.
When Kim returned he raced alongside well-known Kiwi racers such as Shane van Gisbergen and Brendon Hartley.
Formula Ford, which is also known as F1600 and Formula F, is an entry-level class of single seater, open-wheel formula racing. Various championships held around the world form an important step for many prospective Formula One drivers.
“Formula Ford is a great way to learn, we see kids come in that go on to be Formula 1 racers,” says Kim.
And age is no issue when Formula Ford racers hit the track, as Kim frequently goes up against people of all ages.
“It is predominantly people in their early-20s and late teens. The two guys up on the podium with me on the weekend were aged 17 and 13, ; we have quite a big variety.”
Kim encourages older people who may be interested in taking up a sport to pursue it.
“Just give it a go. The older you get it is harder work, but it is doable; us older people need to be doing things to keep them going.”
Kim is proving that age is no factor in a sport like formula racing, where physical ability does not have such a massive impact on performance.
“It does show age is a little bit irrelevant, at least for sports where you can sit!”
To join Formula Ford or view other information such as upcoming events, visit the Formula Ford website: www.formulaford.co.nz