Liam Lawson will make his saloon car racing debut this weekend at Highlands Motorsport Park where he will drive a Track Tec Racing-prepared Audi R8 LMS for the national endurance finale.
The 18-year-old will partner Scott O’Donnell for the three-hour event in what is set to be Lawson’s only racing appearance back home for the foreseeable future.
Lawson will return to the UK in mid-January, ruling out any chance of a third Toyota Racing Series stint.
A promotion to FIA Formula 2 is a high possibility for the young Kiwi as the Formula 1 silly season continues to unfold.
But this weekend will be an opportunity for Lawson to test the waters of GT racing around a circuit is very familiar with.
“Super excited to have the opportunity to race such a cool car at my favourite race track in the world,” said Lawson.
“Some of my teammates over the years have raced GT3 cars and told me how cool they are. I’m so looking forward to it.
“It’s good to talk to Scott about racing this car and he can help me to adapt to it. It’s completely different to racing a single seater.
“A huge thanks goes to [car owners] Debbie and Dennis Chapman for offering me this opportunity. I love racing on my home circuits and it’s always a pleasure to race in front of home crowds. I feel very lucky.”
The car only contested the final round of the South Island Endurance Championship at Timaru where it finished third overall.
Lawson will also reunite with Track Tec Racing owner Matt Waters. Waters was alongside Lawson as an engineer at M2 Competition when he claimed his TRS title and the NZ Grand Prix.
“Trac Tec Racing are looking forward to working again with Liam and hopefully the same success we had in TRS,” said Waters.
“It’s going to be great to give Liam his first taste of racing a GT3 car in the beautiful Audi R8, endurance racing with driver changes and pit stops. It’s all going to be new for Liam. It’s going to be a fun weekend for us all.”
The NZ Endurance Championship will be broadcast live on Sky Sport on Saturday, November 7.
Main Image: Terry Marshall