Callum Hedge: Transitioning to tin-tops

| Photographer Credit: Terry Marshall/Euan Cameron Photography

Callum Hedge won the 2017/18 New Zealand Formula Ford Championship and then headed to Australia to have a crack at their category. A different car, team and more importantly new tracks. Instead of heading to the Castrol Toyota Racing Series, he moved into ‘Tin-Tops’ and won the 2018/19 Toyota 86 Championship.

Over the weekend Talkmotorsport found him in the ex-Tim James Porsche 991 competing in both the South Island Porsche Series and the Speed Works Rush Hour at Highlands Motorsport Park in Cromwell.

“It’s really good and I’m really enjoying the challenge of getting used to a really fast car. It’s a matter of getting my head around how to drive and where it goes, what it does and when it does it. It is a big step up but I’m sort of getting on top of it.”

And he was no slouch winning all three Porsche races and finishing second in the Speed Works Rush Hour to circuit owner Tony Quinn (Mosler MTR900 GT3).

So why move into a Porsche?

“My goal is to become a paid driver. We have looked at all the options – single seaters and Supercars and feel that Porsche is the way to go, the proven and most refined way to get a someone like me through.

“I don’t find the physical side different to the ’86. It’s not that much harder. The main thing is to keep focused as everything is happening at a much higher speed and you could get into a lot more trouble in a Porsche than an ’86.

“It’s been pretty good. We have the car set up really well. I’ve got Todd Bickerton and Ian McNabb who have been working on Porsche for years. They ran me in the Toyota 86 champs so I have been working with them for a while.

Callum Hedge at Highlands Motorsport Park 2020

“We are trying to get a budget together to race in the Porsche Michelin GT3 Cup Challenge in Australia. We may fly this car over as they are all Gen 1 cars.”

It is not that long ago that he was competing in the NZ Formula Ford Champs so has he any advice for young karters moving into the category?

“For me I found that the best way is to ease into it. You are not going to immediately break any track records. Find comfortable, start slow and make something good.”

#17 Callum Hedge leading #32 Josh Bethune Teretonga Park, Rnd 3 2017/18 NZ F1600 Champs

Benjamin Carrell

Benjamin Carrell is a freelance motorsport writer and currently edits He writes for a number of Kiwi drivers and motorsport clubs. That's when he's not working in his horticultural day-job or training for the next road or mtb cycle race!

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