Karalee teen set for karting world titles
THE combination of razor sharp skills and a mind that can deal with immense pressure has Nick Andrews set to succeed in life - whatever his vocation.
Karalee based schoolboy Andrews is off to Portugal next month to contest the world karting championships (Rotax Max Challenge grand finals).
Andrews earned his ticket by finishing third in the 2015 Australian Karting Series.
He showed nerves of steel heading into the final round at his home track at Willowbank.
He went into it knowing he needed a top five finish to finish in the series top three and book his ticket to Portugal.
But Andrews showed the ability to shut out all external factors and focussed on the job at hand, finishing second.
It capped a season in which he won the Dubbo round in March and reordered two second placed finishes (Ipswich and Warwick).
Two years ago Andrews missed out on going to junior world titles in New Orleans by one spot, after finishing fourth in the national championship.
Since then he has had a trip to Portugal as a senior this year firmly in his sights.
"Last year I went up to seniors," the Ipswich Grammar School student said.
"So I used that to get to know the competition and planned to really go for it this year."
In just his third race at senior level last year he finished second amongst the country's best karters.
But he still had it all to do heading into the final round at Ipswich earlier this month if he wanted to book his flights to Portugal.
"I felt a bit more confident having it at my home track," the 17-year-old said.
"If it was a southern track I would have felt more pressure.
"I tried to forget all about the pressure."
Andrews is the youngest of the four man Australian team heading to Portugal, where he is targeting a top 10 finish.
He knows an eye catching performance there could open some major doors to a future as a professional racer.
"A good result can lead to a few things," he said.
"A lot of drivers are offered a chance in Europe, or you could pick up a drive here in Formula 4 or Formula Ford."
In previous years Aussie karters Joseph Mawson (Euro Karts) and James Golding (Australian Formula Ford) have followed such pathways.
The national title this year was won by Sydney's Pierce Lehane, who was also the European champion.
It gives Andrews confidence he can mix it with the world's best.
- Formula 1: Fernando Alonso. You find a lot of drivers have a different personality off the track. With Alonso what you see is what you get.
- V8 Supercars: Jamie Whincup. He is one of the best going around at the moment. I want to be like that one day.