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Record-breaking Christchurch teen looking to revive region's proud motorsport history

A Christchurch teenager has made motorsport history, becoming the youngest person to win the New Zealand Solo Championship.

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Ben Whalley became the youngest Kiwi in history to win the NZ Solo Championship. Source: 1 NEWS

Eighteen-year-old Ben Whalley has already been compared to some of the sport's greats, and some believe his recent successes could help revive the region's rich motorsporting history.

It has been a breakout season for Whalley, who calls solo speedway his passion.

"When I was about eight years old my father passes away and as a distraction my grandad got us into racing," Whalley said.

"That's when we came out here and had a go and I guess it's grown on that and here we are now."

Not only does he have the talent, but also the mental fortitude to perform at a high level, according to Moore Park Speedway president Mike Provost.

"He has a good demenour, he's clear and concise and keeps his cool because speedway's a big mental thing like any sport. If you can control that you've got a good advantage."

It has been a generation since the like of Ivan Mauger, Barry Briggs and Ronnie Moore graced the track, but Provost believes Whalley's recent success may start a resurgence in the sport.

"With a young 18-year-old it's fantastic because he's projecting his image onto guys of his age. I hope they'll think 'I can have a crack at it'."

But for Whalley to take it to another level, he will need to go overseas.

"What I want to see is people faster than me," Whalley said.

"I want to be pushed, I don't want to win all the time, that's not what I want.

"I want to be struggling to win and fighting for it, making it hard, and if there's 20 riders like me it'd be awesome."