Lawson set for hometown debut

Fresh from taking his maiden win in the New Zealand Formula First championship, Pukekohe teenager Liam Lawson is looking forward to making his hometown motor racing debut this weekend.

The current SpeedSport Scholarship winner is hoping to repeat his winning form when the Hi-Q-sponsored championship has it’s only round at the Pukekohe race circuit.

“To win a race at home would be really special,” said Liam, who will have plenty of support track-side from his family and Pukekohe High School friends.

Lawson, 13, has only contested six races over two rounds since moving into single-seater race cars from a successful karting career and has so far scored two podium finishes. His first victory came in the final race of the last meeting at Taupo.

To prepare for the motor racing this weekend, Lawson drove another Formula First race car during a test day at Pukekohe recently, the first time he’d driven on his hometown race circuit.

“I’ve been around Puke before in a couple of cars as a passenger but this was the first time I’ve driven it,” said Lawson.

“I really like the track [layout] and I can’t wait for the racing. The series only comes here once this season so I really want to do well this weekend.”

It’s been an astonishing start to motor racing for the tiny teenager. Lawson currently lies fourth in the hotly contested championship series, and he’s lying within striking range of the leaders.

For SpeedSport Scholarship co-founder and Lawson’s driving coach, Dennis Martin, his results are coming from hard work and dedication both on and off the race track.

“The way he works with the team is first-class,” said Martin.

“Liam’s first race win was no fluke. That was a very mature drive. He simply out-drove his opposition.”

Off track Lawson has a busy schedule of fitness and simulator work.

Local centre Counties Fitness has joined his supporting group with a gym membership, which allows Liam to work close to home on his individually designed program by former SpeedSport Scholarship winner (2006) turned sports trainer, Alastair Wootten.

Lawson is racing a Formula First car under the banner of the SpeedSport Scholarship Charitable Trust. Donations towards Liam’s motor racing program can be made via the ‘Give A Little’ website to help fund his season.

The SpeedSport Scholarship provides a season racing in a Formula First car under the guidance and tuition of Martin’s Sabre Motorsport Team, as well as a personalised race suit, boots and racing gloves from Chicane.

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