Liam accelerates into fresh speed challenge
PUBLISHED: 11:23 22 December 2006 | UPDATED: 19:53 01 June 2010
AT THE tender age of 16 years-old, Wisbech s Liam McMillan has not only become one of the youngest company directors in the country but he is also about to make motor racing history. In his first year on the track, Liam made the headlines in the Cambs Tim
AT THE tender age of 16 years-old, Wisbech's Liam McMillan has not only become one of the youngest company directors in the country but he is also about to make motor racing history.
In his first year on the track, Liam made the headlines in the Cambs Times and Wisbech Standard during 2006 thanks to a superb championship-winning display in the inaugural season of the 750 Motor Club's SaxMax formula.
But his racing career will reach a new level in April, when he will become the youngest driver to ever compete in the Blaupunkt SEAT Cupra Championship.
Liam's near perfect performance of 11 wins and 12 pole positions in this year's 12-race SaxMax season attracted the attention of World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) star Rob Huff, who has taken the Wisbech youngster under his wing.
Huff, 26, won the first ever SEAT Cupra Championship in 2003 and now drives in the WTCC for the Chevrolet team. Since January, Huff has found the time between races and tests to give his protégé valuable advice both off and on the track.
And with further support from his father Paul, a former Stock Hatch champion and the man behind the SaxMax formula, Liam will now not only race his brand new 160mph Leon Cupra but also lead his own Wisbech-based team.
From a purpose-built workshop in the town, the new Maxtreme team will be headed by company director Liam, who will run a team of three young drivers competing in next season's SaxMax championship.
Despite not being old enough to hold a driver's licence, Liam has successfully picked up his Grade A racing licence that will allow him to compete with some of the country's best drivers.
The exciting SEAT Cupra Championship offers a huge £250,000 prize pot and every round is televised by ITV and Motors TV.
It is the breeding ground for many of the WTCC racers of the future and on April 1, Liam will line up on the grid alongside the likes of reigning champion Mat Jackson, Alan Blencowe and Jonathan Adam.
Despite his tender years, Liam is looking forward to the massive challenge ahead of him. He said: "I am over the moon and really excited about the future.
"It will be a lot of hard work and my first season in the SEAT Cupra Championship will be a very tough one but I will be going out to learn as much as I can next year."
He added: "The new Leon Cupra is very different to what I'm used to, but I can't wait to start testing. I don't think left-hand drive will be a problem, but it might take me a while to get used to racing on slick tyres and the direct shift gearbox.
"I'm impressed with SEAT Sport UK's support set-up and it's great not to have to commit to a load of spares at the beginning of the season as SEAT will bring them to all the events. On a tight budget, that's a great help."
He added: "I think the SEAT Cupra Championship will really help me develop as a driver and I'd like to follow in Rob's footsteps and become a professional touring car driver."
Huff said: "With my experience in the series, I had no hesitation in recommending the SEAT Cupra Championship as Liam's next step.
"We have formulated a two-year plan, in which Liam will learn his race craft during the first year. I think that he is capable of getting a podium finish towards the end of the season but then in 2008, Liam will be going for race wins and challenging for the title."
He added: "He is an exceptional talent and I am happy to help as much as I can."
- LIAM has already demonstrated his ability to set-up a car at short notice following a high-speed crash in testing at Snetterton.
His SaxMax championship-winning Citroen Saxo was badly damaged just one week before Liam was due to return to the track for a two-round junior winter series at Brands Hatch.
However, Liam got to work and race-prepared a new car in time for the meeting, in which he continued his SaxMax form to achieve two pole positions, two wins and a lap record.
The Wisbech Maxtreme team will run three cars in the 2007 SaxMax Championship for Tommy Davison, from Birmingham, Sam Schofield, from Essex, and an as-yet undisclosed driver.
Liam's repaired SaxMax championship winning car will be driven by Davison while Schofield will race the newly prepared Saxo.
If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Wisbech Standard. Click the link in the orange box above for details.