By Gary Caffell
Sheldon Brown “lives and breathes” the sport of motocross.
So much so that even though his eighth birthday doesn’t arrive until this Friday the Eketahuna youngster already has his sights set on racing professionally in the United States.
And judging by his hugely impressive record among those of his age group in this country that ambition may not be as lofty as it sounds.
Just last weekend Brown took the runner-up spot in the 7-8-year MX 65cc class at the New Zealand minicross championships hosted by the Pukekohe Motorcycle Club at its Harrisville raceway.
Three second placings on the first day and two thirds on the second day earned him 106 points, 19 less than Christchurch’s hugely talented Kobe Thoms, who won all five races for a points score of 125.
It was the first time Thoms and Brown had clashed and while Thoms took the spoils on this occasion Brown’s effort continued his dominance of his North Island-based rivals, following as it did championship successes at Manawatu, Whanganui, Waikato and the prestigious MX Fest at Taupo where he was 30sec quicker than anyone else in his class.
His father, Eketahuna farmer Adrian Brown, labels his son an “absolute natural” at motocross, hardly an over-statement when you consider that in 2014 he made a clean sweep of all five races to win the 4-5-year 50cc intro trail bike division at the national champs.
“He lives and breathes it. He never watches anything else on television other than motocross. All he talks about is going to the States and competing there. It’s his big dream.”
Remarkably too Sheldon Brown is very much self-taught.
“He hasn’t had any coaching, he just goes out there and does it,” father Adrian said. “It’s all raw ability and he’s got no fear, in fact the bigger the jumps the better he likes it.”
Competing in the same class as Brown at Pukekohe was Pahiatua’s Cayden Pardey and he also did himself proud, placing sixth overall.
His best effort came in the fourth race when he was fourth and he finished on on 75pts.