ASM signs young gun for 2020

The TCR Australia Series will field its youngest competitor in its short history next year with 16-year-old Jay Hanson confirmed to race with Ashley Seward Motorsport (ASM).

The teenager has enjoyed a solid stint in open-wheel racing so far and will gradate to touring car racing for 2020, with Dylan O’Keefe’s Alfa Romeo the car he will most likely drive.

After finishing seventh place outright in Australian Formula Ford, which included winning the final race of the season, the Victorian took part in the touring car category’s driver evaluation day in August, where he impressed in O’Keefe’s car.

During next year’s season, Hanson will also be eligible for the inaugural Michelin Rookie Cup, which will see the winner secure a test with an international TCR team, an opportunity he can’t wait to have a crack at.

“It’s awesome to join forces with Ashley Seward Motorsport in the Alfa Romeo,” Hanson said.

“I can’t wait for season 2020 and some of the great racing that we’ve seen in TCR Australia.

“There’s going to be pressure on myself to at least finish in the top 10 for the year, but hopefully we can be in a position to get some podiums by the end of the year.

“TCR is a worldwide category, and there’s many places to go after the Australian Series. Eventually, I’d like to move overseas and race there, and the rookie prize to get a test with an international team is absolutely awesome.”

With Hanson the first driver confirmed for Ashley Seward Motorsport’s 2020 three-car series assault, team owner Ashley Seward was excited about what the high-school student had to offer.

“It’s really exciting to have Jay join us for our TCR program in the Alfa Romeo,” Seward said.

“He did an exceptionally good job in Formula Ford, and we had an evaluation day and he did a great job in the car.

“The power to weight ratio of a Formula Ford to a TCR are very similar, so I reckon from what we’ve seen with him, there’s no reason why he can’t be challenging for podium finishes.”

Hanson will make his category debut during a special Asia Pacific Cup outing at the Formula 1 Rolex Australia Grand Prix in March, before the first round of the season at Sydney Motorsport Park kicks off as part of the Shannons Motorsport Australia Championships.