Need for speed

Corey Ross under the bonnet and ready to help driver Josh Mitchell win at the Ashburton Car Club's Shayne Adams Memorial Street Sprints.

Racing car driver and mechanic Corey Ross is pit crewing for street sprints contender and mate Josh Mitchell this weekend.

Josh is driving a Subaru WRX – which Corey helped build – and has a track record of being the one to beat at many street sprint events.

Corey, 28, is the grandson of Manny and Pam Sim and the son of Carmen and Glenn Ross, of Sim’s Bakery – a sponsor of the event. He has lived in Ashburton but now lives in Christchurch.

By day he is a mechanic and a shareholder at CroweSport, and most weekends is a Pre-65 Racing racing demon, driving his grandfather’s much-loved Mustang. He also has a rear-wheel drive Subaru Impreza he uses in club sport events and drifting, and a Toyota Altezza for gravel events.

Corey – and Josh – work alongside racing veteran Trevor Crowe who also had a hand in helping with the development of the Subaru in use this weekend.

They made a great team, Corey said.

Corey has helped pit crew for Josh over the past five or six years and enjoyed Josh’s competitive nature.

He was always wanting his car to go faster, Corey said.

That’s something Corey knows a lot about. He has been a motorhead for most of his life having taken up racing because of his grandfather.

“My granddad Manny has been racing since 1993, the year I was born, so racing is in the family and I grew up watching him race,” he said.

“I had a huge passion for racing when I was a kid and loved watching granddad race.

“I got into go-karting at 12 years old.”

Corey Ross (left) discusses a plan of attack with support crew and driver Josh Mitchell (far right).

It’s been a 16-year thrill ride which has seen him competitive in most race events and win many titles.

Corey was especially fond of the street sprints held in his home town.

“The Ashburton street sprint is an honour to be part of and one of the most highly sought after to get a spot in. Out of all the street sprints we go to it is one of the better courses to race on with wide streets and long straights and very well run by the Ashburton Car Club, they do a great job,” he said.

He has lots of good memories during his time racing with family and friends including Josh’s win of the Waimate 50 in 2019.

But was particularly proud of himself winning the Pre-65 Championship two years in a row and being a past winner of the Ashburton Motorkhana Night Autocross event.

He has now been a member of Pre-65 Racing for the past seven years.

He entered the street sprints in 2013 and 2014 driving his Datsun 1200 and then again 2019 in the Subaru.

“Two years ago I was tenth on the reserve list, luckily there were some withdrawals and I got to compete alongside Josh and Trevor,” Corey said.

However he really preferred the night autocross racing event, but it is not happening this year. Instead he will be in the pits alongside mate Josh and his dedicated support crew.

“I have been helping Josh for about four or five years at all of the South Island street sprints and making the trip to Leadfoot (Festival) 2020.

“I enjoy helping with the development of the car. I also pit crew for my partner Danielle (Hurst).”

Danielle has been racing in Open Saloon Car Association (OSCA) for the past six years.