Kiwi rising star Taylor Cockerton will this weekend join the likes of former Formula 1 veteran Rubens Barrichello and international star Matthew Brabham in the debut S5000 Australia round.
The New Zealander will be driving the third and final MTEC Motorsport entry alongside Brabham and Tim Macrow.
Cockerton has a wealth of experience in his career including the 2014/15 New Zealand Formula Ford Championship title and three competitive years in the New Zealand Toyota Racing Series with MTEC.
The 21-year-old will have a test behind the wheel at Phillip Island ahead of the Shannons Nationals at Sandown, which he believes will give him a heap of confidence ahead of the race.
“Having the Phillip Island test is going to be a big help. That will get me and the rest of the field into the groove for Sandown,” Cockerton said.
“It’s great to be with MTEC. I know how Bruin (Beasley) and his team operates, so while I’m learning the new car, at least I won’t need to learn the team or they way they go about their business.
“I’m not setting any expectations for myself. I’d like to be at the pointy end. I’ve got some good team-mates in Matt and Tim, so hopefully I’m getting into a rhythm early and move forward.
“The last race car that I drove was a Formula 4 car at the Grand Prix in March, so this is a massive step up in terms of performance. Hopefully by the end of the weekend, we can be challenging for the lead.
“I have to pay a huge thank you to MTEC Motorsport and Pinnacle Event Logistics – these guys are the ones that have made it happen for me and I’m very grateful.”
The S5000s will first get on track with practice on Friday before having its special qualifying races and main race on Saturday and Sunday.
Tickets for the Shannons Nationals sixth round are now available with 10 per cent of all sales going to charity partner Very Special Kids.
Fans unable to attend the round can watch via SBS or on the live stream on motorsportaustraliachampionships.com.au.
The S5000 category forms part of the Shannons Nationals visit to Sandown Raceway and takes place on 20-22 September.