Profile

Name: Brad Lathrope
DOB: 13 December 1989
Nationality: New Zealand
Home Town: Auckland, New Zealand
Hobbies:

Brad's hobbies consist of surfing, roller hockey, field hockey and socializing with family and friends.

Current Championship: BNT NZ Touring Cars #73
  • In 2015 Brad was selected for the NZ Elite Motorsport Academy. This involved a week long, high intensity mental and physical training regimen as well as a large amount of driver training. Brad placed 2nd in NZ at the Academy which placed him in fantastic steed for the upcoming race season.

 

  • In the 2014/2015 NZ Touring Cars Season Brad finished 3rd overall. For his Rookie season in the V8 this was a huge achievement

 

  • In the 2015/2016 NZ Touring cars Season Brad took out 2nd place over all for the season and this is also when he achieved his first race win at his home track in Pukekohe.

 

  • At the annual, end of season NZ Touring Cars prizing giving; BLR was awarded “Team of the Year”  across both class one teams. A fantastic award for the team, with the criteria being the way in which the car and team were presented at each race meeting, as well as how the team conducted themselves on and off the track.

 

  • Brad was also awarded the very prestigious Ashley Stichbury Memorial Trophy for  2015/2016 “Sportsman of the Year” across both classes. An honour to receive, it was awarded to Brad for “A driver who has shown sportsman like attitude towards fellow competitors and a natural driving ability during the season”

Where did you get your start in motorsport?

My start in motorsport was slightly different to that of most drivers who got the opportunity to start racing karts from a young age. 

Instead my start came from my father’s involvement in the organisational side of motorsport.

My father, Gary, raced cars when he was younger but just after I was born he had to give up racing due to financial reasons.

A few years later he got involved in the organising side of motorsport. As soon as I was old enough I would go along with him and follow him like a bad smell, going to Rally NZ, Rally Rotorua, Rally Whangarei and club meetings at Pukekohe.

I knew from a young age I wanted to be a driver but we didn’t have the financial backing to get me in a car. By the time I was 19, after many years of spending weekends doing documentation, track set up, the occasional flag marshalling and driving safety intervention vehicles, Dad said I could get a car and as I was working paid for it all myself. I saw a Mk1 Ford Escort on Trade Me and I bought it. My Dad, uncle and I completely rebuilt it and got it ready as a club car, I haven’t looked back since.

What classes have you competed in?

I’ve raced in Auckland car club – Production Racing, driving the Mk1 Ford Escort. Mazda Pro 7 – Series 1 Mazda RX7, Mazda Pro 7 Plus – Series 6 Mazda RX7, NZV8 TL class which is now known as BNT NZ Touring cars class two, driving a Ford Falcon.

What appeals to you about competitive motorsport?

Just like any competitive sport, being able to go out and prove to every one that you can be the best at what your passion is. I want to win national championships, international championships and the only way to achieve this is to go into the highest competitive class I can and challenge myself against the best in the sport. The only way to be the best is to beat the best.

Tell us what’s involved in a traditional race weekend?

The team all arrive on the Friday morning usually, unload the racecar and set up our pit garage how my chief engineer (Daniel Church – my cousin) would like it. 

We give the car a quick clean then head off to wherever we are staying to relax and hang out before the race meeting starts for us on Saturday morning. 

Saturday and Sunday are usually quite full on days for us all. The car gets completely checked over after each time out on the track, each team member has their own specific jobs to be done to ensure we are ready to go due to our short turn around between sessions and or races.

We all stay together for the weekend and just hang out, it can be slightly stressful sometimes when we come across an issue or if I damage the car but everyone puts a stellar effort in and if everything goes well by weekends’ end I get to stand on that podium and proudly represent my team for giving me he best car to go out there and drive!

There are usually a lot of laughs to be had over the weekend with us all. 

Big thanks to my cousins Daniel Church and Ryan Church my partner Lucy O’Fee and Jose Cachero for putting up with me and always supporting me every weekend. Without them I wouldn’t be getting the results that we are. Big thanks to the team owner, my father, Gary Lathrope for sharing my passion and backing me 100% in what I do. 

Are you able to learn from the guys in the faster class one cars?

Yes and no. Yes from the fact that most of the field in class one have spent time in a class two car. So it’s a big help to be able to approach some of them and ask for driving or set up advice. Tim Edgell, Nick Ross and Foggy have been the biggest help to me personally so far. It’s great to be able to go and ask for advice and get some solid answers.  

 

What’s the dream for Brad Lathrope?

My dream is to race in the V8 supercars! Obviously that’s a very large dream but I know that I can achieve it and give it my best shot! That’s all I can do. 

The dream for next few years would be to win the class two championship then move up into class one and be a front runner and show my true potential to try and get my foot in the door for Australia. I have a long way to go but nothing will stop me from chasing my dream.