Michels steps into new car, 'still pinching' himself

Jordan Michels and his supporter, Peter Williams, beside his new vehicle  which will get its...
Jordan Michels and his supporter, Peter Williams, beside his new vehicle which will get its first run today at Teretonga. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
After unveiling his new car last Saturday, Southlander Jordan Michels will test it at the opening round of the South Island endurance series at Teretonga today.

The machine is a Honda Civic Type R TCR car that has been bought by Peter Williams, of Riverton, to run under the Team Williams Racing (TWR) banner. The car will be run by Evolution Motorsport, a company owned by Michels' parents, Rick and Fiona.

His championship-winning engineer from his successful Formula 1600 campaign, Jason Leifting, will again take care of the car.

Michels (22) will race the car in the one-hour races throughout the four-round endurance series, an ideal warm-up for the TCR New Zealand Series that will start in January.

"I am still pinching myself," Michels said as the covers came off the car last Saturday.

"Ever since I started karting, it has been my dream to be a race-car driver. During that time, several of my role models and people who had my best interests at heart told me `conduct yourself well, you never know who is watching'.

"I pride myself on doing that and I think I have inherited a lot of support because of it. You never expect things to eventuate, though, but fast-forward to this season and Barry Keen introduced me to Peter Williams and then again in January at Teretonga Park, one of my management team, Neville Hamilton, re-introduced me to Peter."

The young Southlander has had a massive year, winning the New Zealand Formula 1600 Championship in March. He was invited to test a Toyota Racing Series car soon after and was offered a chance to drive alongside Gene Rollinson in a Hyundai TCR car in two rounds of the North Island Endurance Series.

A short time later, Michels was winging his way to Australia when he got an opportunity to drive for Wall Racing in the TCR Australia Series at Queensland Raceway. There, despite illness, he impressed in the team's Honda Civic Type R.

Team Williams Racing has been set up by Williams, a self-confessed motorsport nut.

Williams said he chose to back Jordan because he was "an exceptional young man".

"He relates well to everyone and he is a talented driver.

"The Michels family are a lovely family and I am thrilled to be able to help and open doors for Jordan as he progresses up the ranks."

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