Callum Hedge expects to be challenging for the title in his rookie Australian Porsche Michelin Sprint Challenge season.
The Kiwi teenager made the move across the ditch last month. He will be racing with Earl Bamber Motorsport and Team Porsche New Zealand for the full six-round season, including at the inaugural Bathurst International.
While this is the first international series Hedge has done, it will be his first foray into GT3 racing overseas. The former Toyota 86 champion and NZ Formula Ford Champion has only previously raced his older-generation 911 in the New Zealand endurance championship and the Pirelli Porsche Series.
Hedge was supposed to debut in the Michelin Sprint Challenge championship last year, only to have his plans stalled amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
This time around, Hedge has already transitioned into his new home in Australia and spent the early part of February testing at Phillip Island.
He says his first time with his new team was an initial challenge, but the early promise from the car has left him encouraged.
“The transition from living at home in New Zealand to moving to Brisbane on my own has been pretty hard,” Hedge told Velocity News.
“However, working with the Team Porsche New Zealand and the EBM crew has been incredible.
“The car is amazing. It is the most fun I have ever had in a race car, for sure.
“The team and I are very excited for the season coming up. Their assistance has been huge.
“Though we have only had a few test days, the information we gathered was very useful with lots of positives and things we can work on heading into the first round.”
Hedge will be racing in a New Zealand-inspired black and red livery, with teammate and fellow Kiwi Madeline Stewart donning a similar paint scheme.
The pair will be just two of several rookies on the grid. But despite his rookie status, Hedge says the aim is still to battle for the overall title.
“For us, the overall goal is to win the championship.
“The competition is very tough this year. So, the team and I must put our best foot forward to achieve our goals.
“We definitely expect to be near the pointy end, we just need to do our absolute best to make sure we can be where we are aiming to be.”
The opening round of the 2021 Michelin Sprint Challenge championship was scheduled to be held at Phillip Island last month. However, it was postponed to March 12-14 amid another coronavirus outbreak.
The event will be broadcast live on Sky Sport 5, with TCR Australia, S5000 and GT World Challenge Australia also on the support bill.