Teenage single-seater racer Liam Lawson will compete in the CAMS Jayco Australian Formula 4 championship when the new season gets underway at Victoria’s Sandown Raceway this weekend.
Following a successful test with Team BRM in Adelaide last week, Lawson will drive one of the team’s cars in the ‘double-header’ opening round supported by Christchurch classic car specialists, RetroCar.co.nz.
RetroCar.co.nz supported the Pukekohe High School student’s Formula 4 test day at the Mallala circuit and decided to extend that support to enable Lawson to make the grid for the start of the season.
“The test day came as a complete surprise for me and now I’m super excited that I have the chance to race. The team at RetroCar is incredibly supportive,” said Lawson.
“The Formula 4 car is a big step up from a Formula Ford. It feels amazing to drive, the car has heaps of grip, paddle shift gears and it stops amazingly quick.”
The biggest field in the series three year history is expected to assemble for the Sandown ‘double header’ round which features six championship races.
Lawson, who dominated the recently completed New Zealand F1600 championship, formerly called Formula Ford, will face tough competition from experienced Formula 4 drivers and other rookies that have already completed many test days.
With only one day’s experience in the racing car, Lawson is pleased he has well known Kiwi race engineer Stephen Giles to guide him through his Formula 4 campaign.
“Stephen spent so much time going over the data from the car with me, I learnt so much in just one day. The whole engineering side to a race car is all new to me. I’m sure by the end of Sandown we’ll have made more steps forward.”
Lawson will be the first New Zealand driver to race in the CAMS Jayco Australian Formula 4 series and at just 15 years old will be one of the youngest drivers on the starting grid.
Lawson is one of three young New Zealanders making their debut in Formula 4 championships around the globe. Marcus Armstrong, 16, will race in the Italian and German championships while Invercargill’s Brendon Leitch, 21, will start in the American series.
The Christchurch based classic car restoration, sales, service, import and compliance company RetroCar.co.nz are joined by the Giltrap Group, NZ Childcare Finance, Cyrus International Cargo and Showerdome in supporting Lawson’s Australian Formula 4 campaign.