From time to time we run our stories from the printed edition of Velocity Magazine, this story featured in issue #28, its a great read about young Liam McAdam in the Toyota 86 series.
From a very young age Liam McAdam was always destined to race some form of vehicle. With a passion developed at the age of 18 months driving his sister’s electric car around the courtyard at his family home, everyone knew the DNA of a champion was well entrenched. But this passion lay dormant until at the age of 12 years when Liam took up the opportunity to try out one of his father’s superkarts. Success was all but instant and he won the Queensland Championship in Junior Rotax two years in a row and the was crowned the 2011 Queensland Overall Champion. But heart break came in 2012 when CAMS bowed to unreasonable pressure of the Victorian Superkart community and changed the age rules for gear box karts resulting in the unprecedented exclusion of a 14 year old from the Australian Championship – just two weeks before round 1.
The irony of this short sighted move was that this lead Liam towards Formula Ford and by the end of 2012 he started competing at State level racing. In 2013 and 2014, Liam honed his driving skills in these terrific machines and learned the art of car control and tight racing. “Without the grounding that comes with wheel to wheel racing in Formula Fords I don’t think I would have achieved what I have” said Liam. “These cars (Formula Fords) teach you how to manage an under tyred, over powered true race car at speeds of over 240 kph”. This grounding gave Liam a strong advantage in 2015 when he convincingly won the Kumho V8 Touring Car Championship. In the same year he ran in his first Bathurst Dunlop Super 2 Enduro recording a credible 10th in a star-studded field. “The highlight for 2015 was being fourth fastest in the wet at Bathurst whilst staying on slicks. It was a blast sliding around the mountain”.
2016 in his maiden year in Dunlop Super 2 didn’t show Liam’s real talent as he was in an old Blueprint car that couldn’t match the pace of the new COTF machines. Despite this he fought hard for position and mixed well with this next level of driving.
So that Liam could maintain his driving profile, he decided to race in the Toyota 86 Series in 2017 and his team embarked on building a race car from a statutory write off. 2017 saw Liam show plenty of promise but a run of bad luck kept him off the podium. 2018 at Phillip Island was set to break that trend and Liam dominated round one with a pole (pole lap record) and three straight wins to lead the championship. “The car was just awesome, we decided to go in a different direction with the engineering and I took over the car setup making me fully responsible for the changes. The car is a 2012 model and the engine has over 70,000 kms on it so it is certainly well worn in but still fast enough.”
With all of this, Liam is also studying mechanical engineering full time (3rd year), works 3 days a week in an engineering design office, writes his own software code for machine control and stays fit at the gym 6 days a week.
With the great support of his sponsors and some on track luck Liam is determined to get back to the Dunlop Super 2 Series in the near future and hopes to go on from there.
Liam would like to acknowledge the generous support and sponsorship from Phil Gilbert Motor Group, Phil Gilbert Parts, iPAS, All Points Glass Thomastown, OZ Rock Express, Veloce Tuning, Crisp Sings, 1300 Meteor Rentals and Motul Oils.
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