Jacob Mitchell in action.

Generations Of Karters


Rolleston’s Jacob Mitchell, has just had his sixteenth birthday, is a pupil at Lincoln High School and at the age of fifteen won another major New Zealand kart racing event.

Jacob competed in the Rotax Max 125cc Light class at this year’s Jason Richards GP kart race meeting held in Nelson recently, winning the forty lap race in his class, Senior Rotax lights.

The Kart Sport Nelson Club is honoured to run their memorial race meeting to remember former Club member Jason Richards, the V8 Supercar driver, who died of a rare form of cancer in 2011.

“Jason was part of this Club and we wanted to pay our respects in the best way possible,” said a spokesperson for Kart Sport Nelson. “He showed sportsmanship throughout his career and that, plus having some fun while we are doing it,  is what we have based this event around,” they added. Jacob’s mother, Di Mitchell commented, “for our family this is a sentimental meeting to attend, as we knew Jason and his parents very well. For the first time Kartsport Nelson presented a new trophy in memory of Jason to be awarded to the most outstanding driver of the meeting. Jacob was the recipient and commented that it was a huge honour to have his name on the trophy.”

It’s not surprising that Jacob is doing so well in the sport – he comes from a family background that has excelled in motorsport over the years and he was only six years old when he first began in the cadet section. He is a fourth generation Karter on his Dad’s side and a second on his Mum’s. His father Mark raced karts from the age of eight years old, before moving on to Mini 7.

“Jacob has a passion for any form of motorsport, if it’s on TV he is watching it!” Di laughed. “F1, moto GP, rally – anything going; he  also pit crews for a Super Saloon at Woodford Glen Speedway,” she said.

“Jacob did a lot of training when he was young and we were at the track all the time. Any new class, or new kart, involved extra hours to master the equipment and get the set-up right. We travel around the South Island mostly, but will do the New Zealand champs wherever they are held. We would love to do more meetings, but it does come down to budget,” Di explained.

Darfield locals Chris Charles and Warwick Leech, as well as having a lot of motorsport history between them, have also played their part in Jacob’s recent success.

“Chris has a long background with the Mitchell Family,” Di said, “having helped Grandad, Dad and now Jacob with their motorsport adventures. He assists Jacob by engineering and fixing parts when we need it.

“Warwick from Leech Motorsport enjoys running vintage karts which Mark and Jacob (Father and Son) also run for fun. Leech Motorsport have sponsored Jacob with the chassis and engine, for which we are extremely grateful,” Di reported.

“In the past Jacob has won the South Island Champs four times, came first in the New Zealand Schools’ championship, took second place twice in the same championships, as well as a second in the New Zealand Champs. Next up is the South Island Championship in Invercargill at Labour weekend and it will be tightly contested,” Di concluded.