From time to time Velocity Magazine run special feature stories, be those in our glossy magazine or on our website, this feature on Liam McAdam Motorsport our Category Sponsor for the 2019 Toyota 86 Series follows Liam’s progress from race car driver through to present day as a team owner.
When Liam McAdam embarked on building a race career at the age of 12 years never did he imagine that he would transform that passion into running his own multi car team. Well in 2019, that is exactly what happened and today Liam successfully runs his own 3 car team in the Australian Toyota 86 Racing Series.
From the humble beginnings of a home-based kart team where Liam and his dad did all the preparation, repairs, rebuilds and logistics, he raced locally at Queensland tracks and soon ventured interstate to test his skill against the southerners. This passion went forward and Liam progressed through Formula Vee, Formula Ford (state and national level), Production Sports Car, Super 3 and Super 2 and now a regular in the T86RS.
So, Velocity Magazine met up with Liam recently and talked to him about the development of his race team, what it took to create and how it is going today.
“When we started running in the T86RS in 2017 it became evident that there were many people who needed assistance to achieve the results they should be capable of. But first we needed to build our knowledge of the cars and how to get the best out of them” said McAdam.
“What we knew for sure was that we had a lot to learn, but with our engineering background and lots of hard work and tenacity we felt it was possible for us to gradually build up our capability, systems and infrastructure. Having built our car up from a partially repaired statutory write off we commenced the year with a ground up knowledge of the car. This was invaluable in understanding the car.”
Throughout 2017 they gained immense experience with the Toyota 86 platform, and after plenty of testing, a number of significant repairs and a focus on how to extract pace out of the cars McAdam had amassed a solid foundation in the category. At the end of 2017 they acquired another statutory write off and crashed bare chassis. The goal was to build a Bathurst 6 Hour car and to further develop Liams endurance race experience. This build was a heck of a task and together they made one straight and very fast race car out of two very bent crashed cars.
When you strip every exterior panel off a car, replace the whole right hand side door and roof structure, remove all wiring, piping and every mechanical component and have a truly bare chassis you gain enormous confidence in the car and how well built they are. As a mechanical engineering student (final year) Liam was super impressed at the engineering of the chassis of the Toyota 86. “It’s a great car,” said Liam.
“We ran that car at the Bathurst 6 Hour, and despite an engine failure with less than 1 hour to go, we did a great job and learnt a massive amount about running a multi driver team. All credit to Nic Carroll and his crew for their support on that weekend as well.
“Throughout the 2018 year we gained further confidence in our ability to develop into a multi car team and set about planning how to do that. First, we needed to agree our business model and what level of service we would offer. After numerous business planning sessions we agreed that a full arrive and drive approach was the go and this meant we covered every aspect for the driver from collection at the airport, accommodation, meals, race car provision, at tracks services – the whole package. To make this happen we needed to upgrade our infrastructure, the workshop, our equipment, our transport arrangements and many other aspects. This was a bigger task than you could imagine but today we have these matters sorted and our team is well equipped to manage the three car race team we currently operate.
“Invariably though it is the little things that are the hardest and take the longest to make happen, but our underpinning development basis is that we try to make sure we do everything better every race meet, we fix our problems and we look to create an edge in everything we do.
“The journey to a multi car team has been tough but extremely rewarding, sent me challenges I never expected and certainly made me even stronger and hungrier for success in the future.
“As we look forward to the future years we will be running a three car T86RS campaign in 2020 and we have strong initial interest already. So stay tuned to see who joins our team.”
The next round of the Toyota 86 Series gets under way at Mount Panorama Bathurst during the Supercars Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 Race weekend, 10-13 October. Keep an eye on Velocity Magazine for updates as well as the 2019 Bathurst 1000 Souvenir Magazine, more info on that coming soon.
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