The first of a new series where we call the people who are making the news or just doing their thing out there and find out a little bit about what makes them tick. First up is Carl Reuterman, the 2018/19 ORANZ NZ1.
4×4: Hi Carl Reuterman, thanks for agreeing to be the first to take part in our new series, and congratulations on the win last weekend. So, lots of the people we meet out there racing come from a motorsport family, what—or who—got you into racing?
Carl Reuterman: Dad had an old Landcruiser he had put a V8 into and was doing 4WD competitions and club stuff in, but I don’t really remember too much of that. My brother and I grew up on a farm, and we were into motorbikes from about 5. My first motocross event didn’t happen till I was about 17.
And then you had an accident, and broke..?
CR: Ha yeah, dead right—my elbow. By then I was in the family business, and had to think about the effect a serious injury could have, so I looked for something a bit safer, and got into drag racing with an RB2.9 Nissan. I actually won the NZ title for non-turbo rear wheel drive with it, then got a bit bored with that, so I turned it into my first drift car.
You are now the Official ORANZ NZ1, which is a pretty big deal. Do you see as your racing highlight so far?
CR: It’s probably in that first drift car, I ran it for a couple of years and won the D1NZ title, NZ Drift Champs, and Drift Revolution title all in my first full season back in 2007. Nearly backed them all up in 2008, but was beaten into second place in D1NZ.
You had a lot of success in the drift scene, what was the appeal of Off-Road Racing?
CR: Bang for your buck was a big part of it, you actually get as much time driving the car as you spend prepping it, it’s quite a low-cost form of racing, and you’ve always got a decent shot at winning. The fact that we can take on and beat the big expensive Class 1’s in our little UTV’s is a big part of the attraction too. And it’s sort of a combination of the motocross and drifting at the same time.
So where to from here?
CR: Definitely staying with the offroad racing, I’m going to build myself a turbo car. I’m running a 2017 Yamaha YXZ that we did the build on at E&H, and we’ve had a fair bit of success so far, so I’m going to a 2019 model as the basis for the new car.
OK, we’ve concentrated on the racing, getting away from that a bit, what don’t we know about Carl the person? What do you do when you aren’t racing?
CR: A few years ago I bought a pretty run down lifestyle block and a digger, and I’ve spent a lot of time developing it. I’m also into fishing and diving whenever I get the opportunity.
Just getting back to the racing, what don’t people know about your background
CR: I did my apprenticeship at E&H motors, working for dad, then spent several years at Possum Bourne Motorsport. I learnt a lot there about racecraft, and setting a car up, that sort of thing. Then when dad said he wanted out, I took over the business, and we’ve transformed it into a thriving motorsport centre.
Thanks for taking the time to talk to us we really appreciate it.
CR: No worries, but before I go, can I just say that I can’t stress enough how important the support crews are in this game! There are 4 or 5 people involved in a single pit stop, just to make sure everything goes as quickly and easily as possible, just to make my job easier. And a special thanks to all my sponsors, Gull Fuels, Motul oils, E&H Motors of course, Yamaha Whangarei, Onehunga panel and paint, Concrete Treatments and JG Civil. And of course all the event sponsors and volunteers. Cheers, thanks, guys!
Photos: Mark Baker