Our Driver. Ricky McGough's Profile

Our Driver

Growing up on a lifestyle block meant that Ricky McGough had a traditional rural kiwi upbringing of riding motorbikes, driving boats, tractors, small trucks, basically anything that had an engine!  Then at age 12 he turned a cheap car into a rally car with his father Stuart and Ricky started co-driving in rally sprints and dirt track events.  By age 13 he hit the big time by becoming the driver at the dirt tracks at Meremere and Waikaraka Park as well as rally sprints in the Maiora forest with the Waiuku Dirt Track Club.  At just 15 he won the junior class and repeated the feat the following year also winning the junior driver of the year award and finished 3rd outright in the club on points.  
At age 17 he moved up to the 1600cc class and once again won the season points. He also competed in many car club events including rally sprints, motorkanas and circuit events. In his spare time, he competed in the Drag war's series at Meremere Drag Strip where he finished 6th out of 122 competitors in the DYO class.  
At age 18 he moved up to the open 4-cylinder class but still used the same 1600cc Honda.  Once again, he took out the season trophy beating the high horsepower, high tech race cars.  Looking to take his racing further, he sold the raIn the later part of the year he bought an F2 Speedway midget and spent the tail end of the speedway season doing some testing but otherwise crewing for his father who raced an F2 midget at Western Springs and finished 2nd in the class for their first speedway season (The only team to gain podium finishes in every Feature race they started).  For the 2009/10 season Stuart stepped down and Ricky took over as number one driver under the team banner of Ricky McGough Racing.

In his first season running out of Huntly speedway he had his share of ups and downs including two spectacular crashes both in front of the cameras. Hard on the ego but great for publicity. Ricky McGough hit the news in many speedway magazines and web sites complete with photos and commentary. High lights for the season were some great placing's including First placing's at western springs, Ferndene and in a heat race at the NZ Nationals at Stratford. Then to top it off he gained third place overall in the Huntly Speedway season points. Not bad for his first speedway season competing against top "A grade" midgets with twice the horsepower of his car. Even got coverage on TV a couple of times.  The next season the team upgraded the horsepower in the midget by fitting a factory built Gaerte A grade race engine with around 370hp.  That meant that this season would be spent running with the big boys!  The season didn't quite go to plan when the older running gear started breaking and needed replacement, which meant that the car spent more time on the infield then on the track.  In saying that the team still made every race meeting and learnt a lot about chassis setup and car maintenance.  And the team also managed to impress all new sponsors to come on board with a brand new car for the next race season!  With a brand-new car rolling out of the factory and some new sponsors on board the team started the race season very successfully.  This was a learning year with all emphasis on learning as much as possible about the new midget to make an all-out assault for the next season.  An all new package meant a whole lot of new learning for everyone involved, and although this was a big learning year the team was still running with the very best.  Rebuilt and ready for the following season the team was still learning about the whole package, but still received very good results including 4NZ at the CTRA New Zealand Champs.  Towards the end of the season the package was really coming together, and the team very rapidly started performing better and better.


The next season the team was selected to represent New Zealand as part of the team sent to compete in the International POWRi Series in Australia, and although running the lower powered spare engine, still managed some good results.  The results were good enough for Ricky to be offered a drive in an Australian team for the following year, the only New Zealander to be offered an Australian drive.  Ricky competed in the International Powri Series the following year for the Australian team before the team owner sold the equipment to his son in law, who also had Ricky come race his midget in Australia for him.  Back in New Zealand Ricky continued to make great progress and achieved podium finishes in title events, which lead the team to take a good look at our midget and upgrade both the chassis and the motor.  What rolled out of the workshop was indeed a great machine and Ricky proved this by achieving more podium finishes including becoming the new Taranaki Champ.  With the COVID-19 pandemic making travel between countries very difficult, Ricky will be focusing on his racing in New Zealand for the foreseeable future.