Explained: How 15-year-old who died in a rally crash got the OK to race a high-powered car when it’s not legal for him to drive on public roads

  • Brooklyn Horan died on Sunday at the age of 15
  • The youngster died while participating in a rally event
  • He was legally allowed to drive a high-powered car

Brooklyn Horan, the teenager who died during a motor racing event in New Zealand, was able to drive thanks to laws that allowed him to do so.

The 15-year-old and his co-driver, Tyson Jemmett, 35, were tragically killed during the Arcadia Road Rally Sprint on Sunday.

The pair were pronounced dead at the scene by emergency services after their vehicle left the dirt road and fell into a swollen river around 2pm local time.

Horan was driving the vehicle when the incident occurred in Paparoa during an event held by the Hibiscus Coast Motorsport Club.

“Our thoughts are with the family and friends of these two competitors and all involved in the Arcadia Road Rally Sprint,” Motorsport New Zealand president Wayne Christie said.

“The entire motorsport community will understandably be shocked and devastated by this terrible tragedy. We will provide support to everyone involved in the coming days.’

Brooklyn Horan could drive a high-powered motor vehicle at the age of 15. He died on Sunday during a race in New Zealand

And the reason why the 15-year-old was able to drive the powerful vehicle has been clarified.

According to AP, New Zealanders cannot get a driver’s license until they are 16, but younger drivers can participate in motorsport events on closed roads under certain conditions.

Governing body MotorSport New Zealand said it is offering ‘Junior Competition Licenses for competitors aged 12 to 15 years.

“There are increased requirements that these junior drivers must meet to obtain their competition license, as well as restrictions placed on the types of events and vehicles they can compete in.”

MotorSport New Zealand pointed out that leading drivers Scott Dixon, Liam Lawson and rally driver Hayden Paddon all took part in the race before their 16th birthday.

“First and foremost, my deepest thoughts and wishes go out to Raana, Lynnaire, Lucy and all the families involved at this tragic time. The entire motorsport community supports you,” Paddon said in a social media post.

“It’s crippling to hear about Brooklyn and Tyson’s accident yesterday.

“Brooklyn, for someone so young, with so much talent and a huge future in the sport, I’m sure he would have gone for it.

“You were the future of our sport, but also one of the kindest and most humble young men I have ever met. Your career may have only just begun, but you’ve already left your mark.

‘Tyson, you were one of the truly passionate rally fans. I remember you waving the Kiwi flag at the (World Rally Championship) events in 2017 and 2018 and supporting us through thick and thin, always highlighting rallying in the media.

‘A great business, sports and family man. I am thinking of your wife and family at this time.”

A promising junior, Horan showed his talents in various racing disciplines, most notably competing in the Toyota 86 Championship this season.

His father Raana is also an experienced racing driver with a primary focus on rally driving.