Liam Lawson will be in Arizona next weekend among a 20-strong international driver line-up, all vying for the $US200,000 Mazda Road To Indy Scholarship prize package.
Lawson could finally pack his bags after BG World Wheels offered their support to make sure the Pukekohe teenager will be in Phoenix to represent New Zealand, the youngest of all the competitors.
Champion drivers from 9 countries have been invited to compete, with Lawson’s invite coming after he won the NZ F1600 championship, formerly known as Formula Ford.
Since also finishing runner-up in the Australian Formula 4 championship last month, the 15-year-old has been busy fund-raising to make the journey to America. With time running out to confirm his entry, BG World Wheels stepped in.
“We’ve been impressed with Liam’s efforts in Australia this year, and the work he’s put in to get himself to the United States so we’re pleased to help. Now he can just focus on preparing for the competition,” said General Manager, Brad Dixon.
BG World Wheels recently celebrated 30 years of importing and supplying a wide range of automotive wheels and tyres for the New Zealand market.
It’s not the first time BG World Wheels has helped a young New Zealander racer try his hand in America. The company supported IndyCar champion Scott Dixon on his first venture into American open-wheel racing in 1999.
And that’s where the winner of the Mazda Road To Indy Shootout could end up. The programme can take a driver through three different open-wheel racing categories before reaching Indy Car racing, with the opportunity to win over $US1.5-million of assistance along the way.
“It’s a fantastic chance to test myself against a lot of other drivers from all over the world, all in the same cars, over two days of competition,” said Lawson.
The elimination style competition will see the field halved for the final on-track racing session from which the winner will be chosen.
Lawson leaves New Zealand next Wednesday for the Mazda Road To Indy Shootout presented by Cooper Tires which will be held at the Bondurant Racing School on December 9/10. The facility was once known as Firebird Raceway.