McLaughlin’s new role
Kartsport NZ has made a bold and positive decision in appointing current Australian Supercars Championship driver Scott McLaughlin as their new patron.
Traditionally the organisation has offered the role to a more ‘senior’ member but have now taken the liberty to break the mould.
NZ president Graeme Moore explained that as a body a tasked with managing an activity where the majority of active members are under the age of 20, the opportunity existed to redefine the role to one where the incumbent was younger, and more a hero and inspiration than ‘father figure’.
The 24 year old Christchurchborn McLaughlin made his start on four wheels in karts in Hamilton, and won his first major title - the 2002 North Island Cadet class one - at the age of seven, and went on to represent New Zealand at the annual Rotax Max Challenge series Grand Final in Italy in 2008.
Having moved to Australia McLaughlin - at the tender age of 16 - got his V8 Supercars break courtesy of fellow Kiwis, Ross and Jimmy Stone, proving immediately competitive in the Fujitsu V8 Supercars feeder series in 2011 and going on to win the title in 2012.
Since then he has literally driven to the top of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, finishing third in a Volvo in 2016 and taking the lead of the 2017 series at the recent Townsville round.
McLaughlin is looking forward to the role and has commented on the importance of those early kartsport years and the race craft he learnt in NZ and how much this relates to what he does now in the Supercars competition.
Michels awarded Mygale test in Australia
Southland’s Jordan Michels has been awarded the Race Academy/ Mygale Formula Ford test at Winton Raceway in Victoria by the South Island Formula Ford Club.
Michels, winner of the top Class One championship, also stepped up to the New Zealand Formula 1600 championship.
By the end of the season he was one of only a few drivers capable of consistently pushing eventual title winner Liam Lawson for race wins at the top level.
Race Academy and Mygale offer this test in one of the factory Duratec Formula Fords to the driver chosen by the SIFF association at the conclusion of each year’s NZFF championship.
The test will be completed in the next few weeks.
Michels is also taking the opportunity of a second test at the Phillip Island circuit where he will drive the same factory race prepared Mygale Formula Ford that rocketed current Super2 driver Will Brown to prominence. Stanaway to Supercars Aston Martin Racing’s Richie Stanaway is set on joining the 2018 Australian Supercars Championship grid.
The 25-year-old Kiwi has declared that he is after a competitive Supercars drive in 2018 and that his European campaign is now over.
Last season he gave up his Aston Martin Racing seat at the Circuit of Americas round of the World Endurance Championship in order to compete at the Sandown Supercars endurance round in preparation for his drive at Bathurst with Super Black Racing.