Saturday was another huge milestone in Invercargill racing driver Jordan Michels’ career.
On Saturday evening Michels and his team unveiled his new race car to his closest supporters at Teretonga Park as he prepares for the opening round of the Carter’s Tyre Service South Island Endurance Series at the circuit this Saturday.
The new car is a Honda Civic Type R TCR car which has been purchased by Peter Williams of Riverton to run under the Team Williams Racing (TWR) banner. The car will be run by Evolution Motorsport, a company owned by Jordan’s parents – Rick and Fiona, while his championship winning engineer from his successful Formula 1600 campaign, Jason Leifting will again engineer the car.
Michels will race the car in the 1 Hour races throughout the four-round endurance series, an ideal warm up for the TCR New Zealand Series that will commence in January.
“I am still pinching myself,” said Michels as the covers came off the car on Saturday. “Ever since I started karting it has been my dream to be a race car driver.” During that time several of my role models and people who had my best interests at heart told me conduct yourself well, you never know who is watching. I pride myself on doing that and I think I have inherited a lot of support because of it. You never expect things to eventuate though but fast forward to this season and Barry Keen introduced me to Peter Williams and then again in January at Teretonga Park, one of my management team, Neville Hamilton, re-introduced me to Peter. By May I was sitting in Peter’s beachfront home in Riverton as he told me he had created TWR and that I would be his driver and that Dad and the Evolution Motorsport Team were going to be running the car.”
“We have some good backers on board and we are still welcoming more. We have retained the bulk of our existing sponsors and we have a new naming rights sponsor that will be announced in the near future,” says Jordan.
The young Southlander has had a massive year, winning the NZ Formula 1600 Championship in March, being invited to test a Toyota Racing Series car soon after and then being offered a chance to drive alongside Gene Rollinson in a Hyundai TCR car in two rounds of the North Island Endurance Series. A short time later Michels was winging his way to Australia when he was offered an opportunity to drive for Wall Racing in the TCR Australia Series at Queensland Raceway where he impressed despite battling illness in the team’s Honda Civic Type R.
Team Williams Racing (TWR) has been set up by Peter Williams, a self- confessed “motorsport nut”. After meeting Jordan a couple of times a meeting was arranged at which Peter asked Jordan and his father Rick, “have you ever heard of TWR?” Peter went on to advise them, “TWR is buying you a car!” From there a car was sourced and on Saturday it will line up for the opening round of the Endurance Series. Peter says he chose to back Jordan as he is “an exceptional young man.” “He relates well to everyone and he is a talented driver. The Michels family are a lovely family and I am thrilled to be able to help and open doors for Jordan as he progresses up the ranks.”
While a new naming rights sponsor is still to be announced support for the campaign will come from Evolution Motorsport, Watson Farm Spraying, Bonisch Consultants, Powderline, Motul Oil, Hydraulink and Jesco Hydraulics.
CARTER’S TYRE SERVICE SOUTH ISLAND ENDURANCE SERIES
- Round 1: Saturday 21 September, Teretonga Park, Invercargill
- Round 2: Saturday 5 October, Highlands Motorsport Park, Cromwell
- Round 3: Saturday 19 October, Timaru International Motor Raceway, Timaru
- Round 4: (FINAL) – Saturday 2 November, Mike Pero Motorsport Park, Ruapuna, Christchurch