With a racing resume that includes more podium finishes than it doesn’t, teenage sensation Callum Hedge is surely one to watch.
Callum Hedge has been breaking records since he first burst onto the New Zealand motorsport scene.
At just 12 years of age, and after having spent his formative years in karts, Hedge was granted rare permission by Motorsport New Zealand to race in a support event at the Pukekohe round of the Australian Supercars series, placing him on a stage in front of thousands on the demanding, ultra-fast Pukekohe circuit.
Within three months Hedge had moved into another series as a full-time competitor, showing up plenty of seasoned drivers in the SsangYong Actyon Ute Racing Series, stealing race wins from the 29 other series drivers racing in equal machinery.
Hedge won the 2018 New Zealand Formula Ford title outright, making him the youngest driver to win a National Formula Ford title in the world. Getting there was an impressive feat as well: Hedge won 13 races from 17.
Following that he won the NZ Toyota 86 championship as the youngest and only rookie to have done so
Hedge also broke another record in 2019, this one in Australia, becoming the youngest ever race winner in 50 years of the Australian Formula Ford history. That same year, competing in the Toyota 86 Championship, Hedge also became the only ever rookie driver to win the 86 Championship title.
The next phase of Hedge’s already noteworthy racing career looks to be distinctly Porsche-shaped, with a seat in the Porsche Michelin Sprint Challenge with Earl Bamber Motorsport recently rewarded with a Team Porsche New Zealand scholarship.
The Team Porsche New Zealand programme has been designed to help create a pathway for young New Zealand racing talent to advance in motorsport. Applications for the annual scholarship are open to the public during September and October each year.
In addition to support from Porsche New Zealand, Hedge will also be driving the brand-new Porsche 992 generation GT3 Cup Car in the 2022 Porsche Paynter Dixon Carrera Cup Australia series.
2021 SEASON RESULTS
Befitting a true rising star in Kiwi motorsport, Callum Hedge had a busy 2021, including a stand-out performance in the opening round of the Porsche Michelin Sprint Challenge, forming part of the Shannons Motorsport Australia Championships at Phillip Island.
Contesting the second-tier Porsche series with Earl Bamber Motorsport, Hedge qualified third for the first 13-lap encounter and finished fifth. Wet conditions for race two were to Hedge’s advantage as runaway leader Ryan Suhle spun, allowing the teenager to take the lead. Hedge extended his margin as the laps wound out, eventually crossing the line for a category win.
Back home, Hedge also completed two days testing in the Tatuus FT-60 Toyota Racing Series car at Hampton Downs Motorsport Park.
Hedge impressed on each day, spending the first participating in the Hampton Downs Academy test featuring among others Daniel Gaunt as a mentor, while the second day was instigated by Toyota Gazoo Racing New Zealand where the 17-year-old was aided by Chris van der Drift.
Hedge also performed impressively on his Porsche Carrera Cup Australia debut at the Bathurst race weekend.
Hedge had a difficult lead in after being forced to complete 72 hours quarantine upon arrival into Australia and only got to the Bathurst circuit an hour before the opening Porsche Carrera Cup Australia session. Despite never having driven at Bathurst before, Hedge drove admirably, finishing 16th (and just four places behind seven-time 1000 winner Craig Lowndes). In a shortened second sprint, Hedge progressed to 12th and recorded his best result of the weekend in the third race, finishing ninth.
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