Line-up confirmed for the NZ Junior Driver Championship

There will be two new faces at the upcoming McMillan Equine Feeds Junior Driver Championships.

The championship, which dates back to the 1970s, will kick off at Addington on Thursday 5th October, then head to Invercargill on Friday 6th October and conclude at Methven on Sunday 8th October.

It's hoped there will be two races at Addington, three at Invercargill and one at Methven.  In each race seventeen points will be allocated to the winning driver, with 12 for second, and 10 for third. Points will go all the way down to one for 12th place.

The driver with the most points at the conclusion of the series will be crowned overall champion and represent New Zealand at the Australasian Young Drivers' Championship if eligible.

The two drivers making their championship debut will be Tom Nally and Korbyn Newman. Newman was the wildcard selected by Harness Racing New Zealand Chief Executive Gary Woodham.

Winners of the championship over the last more than 40 years include some of the country's best ever drivers including Maurice McKendry, Tony Herlihy, Anthony Butt, Mark Purdon, Blair Orange, Mark Jones, and Zachary Butcher.

Sarah O'Reilly, who won the title in 2019 and again in 2021 and 2022, is back, as is 2020 champion Kerryn Tomlinson and 2018 champion Alicia Harrison.

The championship will involve 12 drivers, including the top four from Canterbury, the top three from Auckland, top two from Southland and then the next two points scorers overall, plus the wildcard.

The drivers are:

North Island:

Crystal Hackett

Zev Meredith

Alicia Harrison


Sarah O’Reilly

Sam Thornley

Carter Dalgety

Ben Hope


Kerryn Tomlinson

Tom Nally

Next 2 top points:

Gemma Thornley

Wilson House


Korbyn Newman


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