Next Bamber protégé in Europe – Speedcafe
Callum Hedge, youngster from Earl Bamber Motorsport, will fly to Europe this week to contest the final of the European Formula Regional Championship in 2021.
After the 17-year-old has been banned in Auckland for several months, he will leave New Zealand on Thursday and go to Monza for a race meeting from October 30th to 31st.
The open wheel opportunity comes at a time when travel restrictions forced Hedge to abandon the remainder of the Porsche Michelin Sprint Challenge season, which will take place on May 10-12. December ends with a double round at The Bend.
Hedge had finished third in the overall standings, including a race win.
“We were in a really good place,” he told Speedcafe.com.
“We had a number of problems with our car on the first laps and actually just worked them out and took them to the front, and then we didn’t really start with our improved package, which is a bit of a shame.”
With EBM’s current Porsche Paynter Dixon Carrera Cup Australia driver Matthew Payne, who will compete for Grove Racing in the 2022 Repco Supercars Championship, Hedge is the logical choice to move up to the top tier Porsche series.
But its focus hasn’t completely shifted to 2022 yet.
“I’m actually leaving New Zealand on Thursday and we’ll be racing in the Formula Regional Series at Monza,” said Hedge, who will be competing for G4 Racing.
“So it will be pretty cool to get out of the country and play in a really competitive championship against teams like Prema, ART and Van Amersfoort.
“It actually only came about because I can’t drive in Australia, so I just searched Google and found the series.
“We made contact with the people and our contacts we know from New Zealand, the teams in Europe, and that got us in the door and across the line about a week ago.
“It’s good that we go out and do a race, do a few tests, and do a number of laps in a year that we don’t really drive a lot.”
After Monza, Hedge will return home, facing the 2022 New Zealand Grand Prix from February 11-13 at Hampton Downs.
“The Grand Prix is definitely something that we looked at intensely. We’re pretty much prepared to get a drive over the finish line for this race, ”he said.
“We definitely want to try and see if we can take it forward and possibly put our name on the trophy.”
And what about being on the path that was already trump card for his kiwi teenager Payne?
“I think going with that name and brand, of course Porsche New Zealand and Earl Bamber Motorsport, I think it’s really good to work on and build your profile,” said Hedge, who admitted he wasn’t too much cared very much what championship he has career eventually leads him to it.
“And then obviously [Earl] has many contacts and can open doors like he did for Matthew with the Groves. “