Whanganui mechanic starts his own workshop after being inspired during Covid-19 lockdown

Blair Gray, the one man army behind Kooter Motorsport, decided during alert level 4 lockdown now was the time to test himself. Photo / Bevan Conley

After spending weeks stuck on his couch during Covid-19 alert level 4 lockdown, a Whanganui mechanic decided now was the time to follow his passion and start his own business.

Blair Gray has opened Kooter Motorsport at 469 Heads Rd, a general workshop as well as specialising in motorsport fabrication and preparation on all forms of race vehicles.

An accident in 2014 has left Gray in and out of work since with various injuries. After shoulder reconstruction earlier in 2020 and when it became time to start looking for work post-lockdown, Gray decided it was time to go all-in.

“It’s always been a dream to own my own workshop and build a name for myself in the day to day servicing but also in the motorsport industry as that’s a huge passion of mine.

“I had 90 per cent of the workshop tools and equipment I needed. So I thought after Covid, I’ll try find a workshop space, set up and give it a go.”

After finding a suitable spot on Heads Rd, Gray began setting up with the help of family and friends, while also taking on advice from business owners and people he admires as he enters his first business venture.

Gray said the day to day servicing and repairs are key to getting the business up and running.

“It’s a bit of both. I have to focus on the day to day servicing and repairs because that’s my bread and butter.

“The race customers I’ve got I will continue doing those and look to draw in more as time goes by.”

There is plenty of work to go around in Whanganui which has a strong vehicle market for both day to day and racing vehicles, Gray said.

“It’s a massive market in Whanganui for everything, from your day to day servicing right through to your motorsport side of things. You’d almost say Whanganui is the motorsport capital of New Zealand when it comes to people racing per capita, we have a huge supply.”

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