Scholarship puts Timaru student in the driver's seat for North Island racing champs

[] Scholarship puts Timaru student in the driver's seat for North Island racing champs

Corban Sprague has been awarded a scholarship by his racing sponsor to participate in the North Island Motul Honda Cup, which will cover all expenses apart from accommodation and flights.

A 16-year-old Timaru school student has been awarded a scholarship to allow him to race in a North Island racing championship.

Corban Sprague will be part of the three car junior team run by 24 Red Racing in the Motul Honda Cup in the North Island, starting in October.

“We looked at moving up a class in the South Island, but there is nothing really for us down her, and that is why we have made the move up to the North Island to compete up there.”

“It will be a lot different to what I have been doing, it is a step-up, but I am looking forward to the challenge,” Sprague said. “It is a great opportunity.”

READ MORE: * Leonard and Sprague combination back as Timaru racers emulate father and great-grandfather in endurance racing * 'Manic' first-ever race at Levels for 15 year-old Corban Sprague * 15-year-old ready to extend Sprague family's motor-racing links into a fourth generation


Corban Sprague has been awarded a scholarship to participate in the North Island Motul Honda Cup.

Sprague said, as many in the sport know, it is not cheap , and he is grateful for the support from 24 Red Racing.

“It is quite expensive, Dad always says to me why didn’t you didn’t you choose to play basket ball or something, it would be a lot cheaper,” Corban said.

Corban said he was really grateful to have this scholarship to elevate costs.


Corban is excited for the 2023/2024 race season in the North Island.

“We will still have to do a bit of fundraising to get flights and accommodation,” he said. “But it really does take the pressure off.”

Last year was a “really big year” for the young driver, getting to race in the North Island for the Golden Homes North Island Endurance Series, the B&H 500 farewell to Pukekhoe and placing well in South Island races.

“Obviously finishing off the year sitting second in the 2k Cup South Island Championship that has been very cool, I didn’t actually expect that, so it has been really fun.”

Corban said he is getting a car upgrade for the North Island championship, taking fellow 24 Red Racing member Mark Leonard's car up north.


Corban in the car he has raced in the 2k Cup with this season, but will swapping it out for a Honda Integra for the Motul Honda Championship.

“It is a bit of a step from what I have been racing, quite a lot faster on slick tyres and stuff like that which will be good fun,” Corban said.

“The car will be based up in the North Island, so [Dad] can have his garage back now.

Corban said he is “super excited” and “very grateful” about the opportunity and to 24 Red Racing owner Chris O’Driscoll.

Corban’s father Peter Sprague said he is really proud of his son, and said even with a busy past season, he never let the school work suffer, passing all his NCEA exams.

“Trying to juggle the car racing and that we have been a bit worried about him, but he’s taken it with a grain of salt, and he’s fired into it, he has done a pretty good job,” he said

Sprague said there is more to be done, hopefully securing sponsorships to help with other costs involved.

The ultimate goal is to get Corban a test in a Toyota 86, he said.

“At the end of the day if he does a good job in that, hopefully that comes off.”

Valentina Bellomo/Stuff

Corban in 2022, with a photo of his great-grandfather Ernie Sprague in action in 1964.

Sprague said he was really proud of his son, being the fourth generation in the family to take on the sport.

“I hate to say it but the kid’s better than I was, the kid’s good,” he said

And in regard to Corban’s comment about his dad being happy about getting his garage back, Sprague agreed.

“I am not going to lie, there is some truth to that,” he said. “Mate, I have just not had room, between the race car and two go karts.


Corban in the family garage which is where his equipment is stored between events.