VIDEO NEWS: Liam gets in the fast lane
WITH his debut SEAT Cupra Championship season fast approaching, young Wisbech motor racing sensation Liam McMillan was at Snetterton on Saturday to complete vital track testing - and MARK BERRY was there to get the latest behind the scenes news. Liam, 16,
WITH his debut SEAT Cupra Championship season fast approaching, young Wisbech motor racing sensation Liam McMillan was at Snetterton on Saturday to complete vital track testing - and MARK BERRY was there to get the latest behind the scenes news.
Liam, 16, was joined by his mentor, World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) driver Rob Huff, 26, and a team of mechanics at the Norfolk track as he got to grips with his impressive new 160mph Leon Cupra.
Last year's SaxMax champion revealed that the testing session had very specific aims. He said: "We are trying out various settings to maximise the performance of the rear of the car.
"There are so many things that can be adjusted on this car and so it is important that we get it all absolutely right."
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The Snetterton test was Liam's second of the year so far, following his visit to Silverstone last week, and he admitted that the step-up from SaxMax is a massive one. He said: "It is so different to anything I have done before and the level of engineering and preparation is unbelievable."
Liam was joined by father, Paul as their new Wisbech-based Maxtreme racing team joined forces not only with one of the top racing drivers in the country but also with an array of technical motor racing expertise.
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In the Maxtreme garage at Snetterton were mechanics who have gained experience at the very highest level both in the WTCC and the World Rally Championship (WRC).
Their expertise working with the likes of Huff and former WRC world champion, Petter Solberg, was evident as they used computer technology to monitor the performance of every aspect of Liam's car. Paul McMillan said: "It is great to have such experienced people working with the team and it brings us up to speed very quickly before the testing ban comes into place in March. Until then, we are aiming to get to as many tracks as possible."
The next eight weeks are crucial to Liam, who will become the youngest driver to compete in the SEAT Cupra Championship when the season begins on April 1.
Before then, he will get to know both the tracks and the car with the help of his mentor. Huff said: "He has a lot of potential and I am keen to get as much time on track with him before I start the WTCC season.
"It is not just about the driving, we need to make sure that we have the car set up perfectly for each track. We are working on getting a base set-up for the car and also specific settings for each track."
He added: "If the car is not performing we will then know that we can revert back to the basic settings and make adjustments to suit the track and weather conditions."
Liam said: "It is great to get Rob's feedback when I drive the circuit but when he takes over and I am the passenger it is frightening!"
SNETTERTON proved to be a popular destination for drivers on Saturday and joining Liam at the track was Tommy Davison, from Birmingham, who will race for Maxtreme in this year's SaxMax season.
Tommy will be racing Liam's championship winning Citroen Saxo and he was able to pick up valuable track time and words of advice from Rob Huff.
Tommy will be joined by Sam Schofield, from Essex, as Maxtreme enter two drivers in the 2007 SaxMax championship.
Wisbech's Maurice Hayden was also on track as he prepares to defend his Class A Championship title in the forthcoming 750 Motor Club's Stock Hatch season.
Hayden revealed that he will be testing a new car ahead of his new Class A campaign.