Kiwi Driver Fund backs Lawson and Herbert
New Zealand aspiring motorsport drivers Chelsea Herbert and Liam Lawson have been announced as the recipients of the Kiwi Driver Fund for 2020.
The Fund, which recognises young motorsport talent in New Zealand, gives drivers the financial kickstart to compete on the world stage during the Castrol Toyota Racing Series.
The series, which runs over five weeks, has developed a reputation internationally and attracts many aspiring Formula 1 drivers from around the world.
Kiwi Driver Fund Trustee and Toyota Gazoo Racing New Zealand Ambassador Bob McMurray says that this is why it is important that our New Zealand drivers have the opportunity to join their ranks.
“Motor racing is an expensive sport, something that is simply out of reach for many of our Kiwi drivers. As a nation we have always excelled on the motorsport stage, with greats like Bruce McLaren, Chris Amon, Denny Hulme, Brendon Hartley, Scott Dixon and latterly Nick Cassidy showing how possible it is for New Zealanders to make a mark.
“We want to make sure that aspiring young drivers have the best possible chance to follow in their footsteps. The Kiwi Driver Fund is instrumental in doing just that - helping showcase our best talents to the rest of the world and connecting them with some very big names in international motor racing.”
As his second year being supported by the Fund, Liam, 17, says that he simply wouldn’t be on the grid without the support.
“I was a rookie in the Series last year, and was thrilled to win both the Championship and the New Zealand Grand Prix. Without a doubt, this meant I was able to push my profile internationally and score a ride with Red Bull Junior.”
Liam went on to have a successful season racing in the Formula 3 championships in Europe and was named Rookie of the Year in the Euroformula Open championship.
“Returning to the series gives me the chance to display my driving and to further develop the necessary skills to take back to Europe. It’s extremely hard to raise funds to support a season locally, so without the Kiwi Driver Fund and my other sponsors - I just wouldn’t have this opportunity.”
As the sixth woman to compete in the Castrol Toyota Racing Series, Chelsea, 21, is looking forward to entering the world of single seater racing with the new FT-60.
“My goal is to learn as much as I possibly can from both the experienced engineers and racers around me and that’s the principal goal,” she explained. “ I know I’ll be racing some of the very best up and coming single seater drivers in the world today, most of whom want to get to Formula One, Indycar or Le Mans. It’s going to be a huge challenge.“