Lawson to race GT3 Audi ‘as fast as I can’

Liam Lawson
Liam Lawson
Rising New Zealand driver Liam Lawson will make his saloon car racing debut this weekend at Highlands in what is fast becoming a rare outing in his home country.

Lawson, who was born in Hastings but raised in Pukekohe, has been named alongside Invercargill's Scott O'Donnell in the Track Tec Racing run Audi R8 in the New Zealand three-hour endurance championship at the track in Cromwell, which is raced over the weekend.

It will be his only racing appearance back home for the foreseeable future.

Based in the UK, the Red Bull Junior driver is looking forward to the chance of racing the V8-powered GT3 car before heading back in mid January.

"Super excited to have the opportunity to race such a cool car at my favourite race track in the world," Lawson said.

"Some of my team-mates over the years have raced GT3 cars and told me how cool they are. I'm so looking forward to it."

It was at Highlands in January last year where his racing career started to take off.

On his Toyota Racing Series debut he pulled off the most stunning outside passing manoeuvre to win that he came to the attention of Red Bull's adviser, Dr Helmut Marko. From that he was offered a junior driver contract.

Since then he has raced for Red Bull in European Formula Open and Formula 3 for the past two seasons.

"A huge thanks goes to [car owners] Debbie and Dennis Chapman for offering me this opportunity. I love racing on my home circuits and it's always a pleasure to race in front of home crowds. I feel very lucky."

And teaming up with O'Donnell is also going to be a special experience. The Invercargill businessman, along with the Chapmans, assisted Lawson when he first left New Zealand to race in the Australian Formula 4 championship in 2017 at age 15.

"It's good to talk to Scott about racing this car and he can help me to adapt to it. It's completely different to racing a single seater."

O'Donnell, along with Highlands driving coach Andrew Waite, qualified the car for the New Zealand Championship with a third place finish at Timaru's Levels Raceway.

The 18-year-old Red Bull Junior has only one goal in mind.

"Race it as fast as I can."

The championships are on Sky Sport, starting at 10.30am tomorrow.

 

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