Ben Bargwanna is ready to make a splash in his first season of car racing after securing a fully sponsored drive in the Victorian Hyundai Excel series this year.
While Bargwanna is not yet old enough to apply for a learner's permit for the road, the 15-year-old from Warragul is set to make his debut in the popular one-make series.
The Excels are the perfect tool as a grassroots car racing class which use fundamental technology, have the same engine, suspension, brakes, tyres and are essentially as standard.
After five years of karting and successfully finishing his junior career in 2016 with a 2nd in the Victorian State Championship, the move to the Hyundai series was the logical step.
“It's a steep learning curve compared to karting, with a gearbox, suspension, shock absorbers, new race tracks and standing starts,” Bargwanna acknowledged.
“But I absolutely love it and it's the first step to realising my dream of being a Bathurst Champion.”
The teenager is a third generation racer and son of former Bathurst 1000 champion and double NZ Touring Car Champion Jason Bargwanna.
“We wanted Ben to get into car racing this year and thought the Excel series was a perfect way to start. Plus he's doing it the right way with proper sponsorship from Red Rooster,” Bargwanna snr told Speedcafe.com.
“It's about baby steps, this class and type of racing helps build a database of experience and knowledge, learn tracks and understand the disciplines of close racing.
“Our plan is to build a strong foundation of skills and expertise and make the most of every step up the motor racing ladder.
“We have set modest goals for Ben's rookie season, but early signs have us in front of the curve, so bring on 2017.”
Bargwanna will cut his teeth in Round 1 of the Hyundai Excel series X3 New South Wales on the undercard at the Wakefield 300 meeting this weekend ahead of his full schedule in Victoria starting at Sandown from March 4-5.