Kiwi Supercars ace Scott McLaughlin is going back to where it all began.
McLaughlin will return to karting for the first time in 10 years when he races in the New Zealand National Sprint Championship in Hamilton next month, joining the 125cc Rotax Max Heavy class.
Hamilton was McLaughlin’s home track during his domestic karting career, before moving to Australia in 2009 and graduating to the Supercars feeder series a year later.
Last year, the 25-year-old attended the meet in Rotorua, which sparked his desire to jump back into a kart.
"It just brought it all back,” McLaughlin told the Supercars website.
“The thrill, the excitement, even the butterflies-in-the-stomach feeling I used to get when I was sitting on the dummy grid waiting to head out onto the track - and I was just there to watch.
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“When I found out that this year the Nationals were being held at my old home track at Hamilton I was like, 'I've got to actually be in a kart this time'."
McLaughlin – who still regularly drives a kart for practice - insists he won’t be setting any expectations, but certainly won’t be holding back on the track.
"I'm primarily there to enjoy a great weekend of karting at a track I know and love with a great bunch of people," he said.
"Part of my role as patron of KartSport New Zealand, also, is to inspire the next generation of kids coming up through the ranks, and I truly can't think of a better way to do that than by racing a kart myself.
"As to how I go, I won't really know until I see who else is there, but put it this way, I’m a competitive person and I haven’t entered just to make up the numbers."