Student gears up for V8 supercars champs

Sixteen-year-old Invercargill driver Liam MacDonald will again line up on the grid in the NZV8 Touring Car Championship field as part of the V8 Supercar meeting at Pukekohe Park, south of Auckland, later this month.

MacDonald contested the NZV8 Touring Car Championship races at what is New Zealand's biggest motor race meeting last year and excelled among the top class competition.

He was the youngest driver in the field but he impressed onlookers with his maturity as he overcame qualifying problems to pass car after car in storming drives during the races.

It would have been an impressive feat at the best of times but it occurred in what was just MacDonald's third race weekend at that level.

MacDonald's budget allows him to contest only two more rounds in this year's championship - at Teretonga and Timaru.

However, at Teretonga in January he took the round victory in the TL Class of the championship, winning his first race in the championship at the same time.

That victory came in just his fourth round of competition and just three days after he sat, and passed, his driver's licence test.

His progress at this level has been impressive considering he has been able to contest only five rounds to date.

Before jumping in at the deep end in the Falcon, MacDonald had attended only a modest number of club events in a small Nissan NX Coupe.

MacDonald, a student at James Hargest College, will take advantage of the school holidays to make the trek to Pukekohe.

"I am really looking forward to racing there again," MacDonald said this week.

The event is from April 24 to 27.

The Southland Times