Lawson leading rookie after championship debut
Pukekohe teenager Liam Lawson made a positive start in the Hi-Q New Zealand Formula First championship by scoring points in every race and coming away with the lead in the rookie driver stakes.
Following a difficult qualifying session when an oil pressure line failed on his car’s engine, the 13-year-old made the best of his 9th grid position to finish inside the top-ten of the three championship races at the Manfeild race circuit.
Lawson made the season start after a plea through the crowd-funding website ‘Give A Little’ helped get his Formula First car on the grid and although he says he had a ‘reasonable weekend’, a test session prior to the next round at Taupo has him confident of going better.
“I didn’t quite have the pace I had in the pre-season Winter Series but I believe my team are on to an issue with the car that hopefully will see better speed next time,” said Lawson.
He is the 15th annual winner of the SpeedSport Scholarship young driver development program and has been praised by co-founder and driving mentor Dennis Martin for his effort at Manfeild.
“Liam made a positive start, didn’t panic when there was an issue, didn’t over-react and came away the leading rookie driver,” said Martin.
“There were six experienced drivers in front of him and more than that behind him, so he did well. I’m sure it’s only going to get better from here.”
As well as top rookie, Lawson lies 7th overall in the championship standings after the first of eight rounds in his debut car racing season, having moved up this year from racing karts.
Lawson is racing a Formula First car under the banner of the SpeedSport Scholarship Charitable Trust, currently operating without a sponsor, and continues to seek contributions via ‘Give A Little’ to help fund his season.
The team are hoping to raise around $2,000 per round and ask anyone who would like to make a donation to go direct to the ‘Give A Little Foundation website. Log-in direct at: http/givealittle.co.nz/org/speedsportscholarship.
Photo: Geoff Ridder