Manawatū racing driver Callum Crawley received a Castrol scholarship to help him compete in the New Zealand Grand Prix next year.
CAR RACE : Manawatū rider Callum Crawley’s chances of racing in the New Zealand Grand Prix were strained after a year without a car.
Feilding’s Crawley, 21, is set to return to the track at the Hampton Downs Grand Prix in February after receiving a Castrol scholarship.
Sponsors Castrol was looking for a Grand Prix Ambassador to compete in a Toyota FT-60 supported at the Grand Prix. James Penrose of Rangiora won the scholarship, but Castrol also created a second prize of $ 15,000 for Crawley.
There was an initial nominating list of 66 drivers who needed to demonstrate speed, a racing track record, ambassadorial skills and off-track abilities like social media engagement.
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Crawley now needs to earn an additional $ 31,000 to get in the car, so the next step is to secure the rest of the funding so he can be on the Grand Prix grid.
He said getting the funding from Castrol was a big vote of confidence and was a good start to getting the rest of the money.
Crawley had been out of a race car for over a year, but early last week drove to Hampton Downs for a practice session in a TRS car.
“It was good. It was a fairly wet day and not exactly ideal conditions, but I managed to recover quite well.
“I hit the ground running. There were a few other cars there that day and I was quite consistently the fastest of the three.
He had appreciated the return to racing after such a long period of absence.
Crawley, who worked for his parents’ Autokraft 4×4 business, traveled to England in 2019 to compete in the Formula Ford Festival at Brands Hatch in Kent, then sold his car ahead of the upcoming New Zealand season.
“I had done a few years in Formula Ford and wanted to take the next step, but I couldn’t get the funding for it.”
The desire to run hadn’t gone away though, and he still wanted to be involved.
Last season he helped a few people working on cars, as well as interviewing, social media and race reporting for Formula Ford.
After this season he wanted to keep racing, but was not sure in which racing category.