Kristin Alumni - Eyes on the Prize
When Reid Harker graduated from Kristin in 2013 he already had motorsport in his veins. The young driver had been working hard on the highly competitive national karting circuit since 2009 and was preparing to step up to the NZ Formula First and BMW Race Driver Series.
Fast-forward to 2018 and Reid has just had the season of his career, competing in the Toyota Racing Series and clocking up his first experience of Porsche Carrera Cup Asia for Earl Bamber Motorsport.
Alongside his incredible on-track achievements this year, Reid has also graduated from the University of Auckland with a Bachelor of Commerce, majoring in Marketing and Management, and taken on an exciting new role in the marketing department of the Giltrap Group, which he describes “as a fantastic company who have done so much for motorsport in New Zealand.”
Reflecting on everything that has happened this year, Reid says he could never have foreseen how everything would turn out; “It is so hard to predict where the next opportunity is going to come from, especially in motorsport. But, I have always had a good idea of where I want to be and am open to different ways of getting there, depending on the opportunities that arise.”
This tenacity and drive has been a major factor in Reid’s success. It’s one of the things that impressed the team at Earl Bamber Motorsport when Reid was offered the opportunity to get behind the wheel in the penultimate round of the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia series in Malaysia in September.
In an interview with velocitynews.co.nz, Will Bamber talked about Reid’s efforts to secure last-minute backing when an opportunity to drive came available; “I actually gave him the challenge on Thursday night and said ‘hey man, there’s a seat available, a driver had to pull out, make it happen…’ He was up at 4am calling New Zealand and making sure he had enough to secure everything to sign on.”
Reid went on to deliver a strong debut in the competition, improving over the weekend and making significant leaps forward. “I think by the end of the weekend we were within a second of the front guys. In testing we’ve found more time,” he told Velocity. “It is a super competitive championship up the front… I think if I was racing again [now] we’d be amongst it.”
After clocking up such a strong first performance in Malaysia, Reid is more focused than ever to put together a campaign for Porsche Carrera Cup Asia in 2019. “My long-term goal is to become a professional driver, and this is just the next step in getting there.”
He’s quick to recognise the support he has in pursuing this goal, both inside and outside the motorsport industry. “It is so important to have a strong support network. I’ve been fortunate enough to meet and work with some awesome people in and out of motorsport who have helped me get to where I currently am and are helping me get to where I want to be.”
And his secrets to success? That’s simple: “Do what you love, work hard at it, surround yourself with supportive people, deliver on your promises, and enjoy the journey.”
We asked Reid how his 13 years at Kristin have helped him on his journey: “I wasn’t a highly academic student, but school helped me to find what I was passionate about, which has always helped me decide what to do next. “To my teachers, thanks for being a part of my journey and thanks for all your hard work in the classroom and behind the scenes. And to the students, try and enjoy every day at school. It’s not all that bad ;) And try to listen to your parents.”