RACE MODE: Jensen Calcott waits at the start line for his Vortex Mini Rok race to start. Photo Troy Baker D9388-523.

LIKE most kart drivers, Jensen Calcott is itching to get back behind the wheel.

The Eastern Bay of Plenty Karting Club member is excited that at level two he might be able to do some practice sessions at the Edgecumbe track with hopes of racing again a bit later in the year.

At just 10 years old, Jensen is one of the club’s younger members but it doesn’t stop him from giving his older opponents a real race.

He’s been racing for three years and was just into his fourth season before it stalled due to Covid-19.

“I kind of got into racing by accident. My dad has raced for years in circuit racing cars and a friend of his had a cadet kart sitting in his garage and offered to sell it to us pretty cheap, so it just went from there.”

Jensen looks set for a big future in the motorsport industry if his sixth placing at the Goldstar round in Taranaki earlier this year is anything to go by. This is a big tournament contested by a number of North Island racers, with rounds held at different tracks.

Jensen’s karting career began in the Cadet Rok classes before this season stepping to the Vortex Mini Rok – a faster class – and it looks like podium finishes are within touching distance.

“It has been tough getting up to speed in the older class but I am setting personal bests at the tracks I know well like Edgecumbe and finishing in the top four or five.”

Jensen is a big fan of his local kart club and its track in Edgecumbe, which does have a couple of bumps in it.

SNEAKY: Ben Williams in kart 5, spins out as Jensen Calcott, 95, speeds on past at the Eastern Bay of Plenty Christmas Race Day in 2019.

“I like EBOP because it’s a great club with great people who just love going fast and racing karts. It’s always fun racing at the EBOP track especially at the Christmas Race Meeting.

“It was the first club I joined as a kart racer and I still enter all the club’s big events.”

Jensen has found himself on the podium many times, especially at Eastern Bay club days.

“I have won quite a few races at the EBOP track. In 2016-17 he won the club’s Cadet Racket, and finishing second in the Cadet Rok class for 2017-18 and winning a Cadet Rok trophy day, they are probably a few of my racing highlights to date.”

Hopefully, like many other junior athletes, Jensen may be able to return to his kart in the near future as sports albeit with strict guidelines have been given the green light to restart in the next month or so under level two.