He’s a young man in a hurry, juggling his studies with a motor racing career. Just 15 years old, Liam Lawson has won the 2017-2018 CareVets Racing Scholarship to race in the coming Toyota 86 Championship.
Up against nine other hopeful young drivers at Hampton Downs on Monday, Liam found himself tested as never before and came through triumphant.
The scholarship provides one rising race driver a year with a largely paid drive in New Zealand’s premier one make race series, which kicks off at Pukekohe as part of the annual V8 Supercars event in November.
Held each year at the internationally-renowned Hampton Downs race circuit, the scholarship’s challenge day tests candidates on their fitness, their media skills, their motivation and closely examines their career plans before sending them out to show their race driving skills on track.
Liam said the hardest part of the day came first: a run around the Hampton Downs race track.
“I can ride a bike, swim, do anything physical but I’m really not very good at running – and Hampton Downs is a very long circuit on foot!”
Once out on the circuit in a Toyota TR 86 race car, Liam said, the day came together quickly for him.
“The cars are really well balanced, next best thing to a single – seater. I felt very much at home in the cockpit even though it was my first competitive experience in a ‘tin top’ race car,” he said.
Liam is now putting together the funding to complete his drive package with the two-car CareVets Racing team and will be racing alongside 2016-2017 Rookie of the Year Jack Milligan of Christchurch.