The Inner Sanctum takes a look at Australia’s next great motorsport prospects currently competing across the globe.
With Oscar Piastri becoming an Alpine F1 reserve driver for the 2022 season after winning the F2 title, who else could be on a path to greatness in their car?
23-year-old V8 Supercars driver Will Brown burst onto the Australian scene this year in the V8 Supercars Championship season, winning a thrilling three-way shoot-out for his maiden Supercars victory at the BP Ultimate Sydney SuperSprint finale.
The Erebus Motorsport driver also was able to claim another three podium spots at the 2021 Bunnings Trade Sydney SuperNight and once again at Eastern Creek three races later. Brown was able to claim his best Supercars finish in his third season as an Erebus Motorsport driver, finishing eighth in the championship standings.
Brown also scored a pole at Sydney Motorsport Park and lead his race like a seasoned veteran of the sport, but an issue when pitting denied him his first win. He claimed his first victory a little over a week later in Sydney.
A provisional pole at Bathurst proved he will be a star in the future and someone who could make further imprints on the Australian motorsports landscape as a whole.
Jack Doohan, who currently competes in Formula Three, had an extremely successful 2021 season, finishing second in the Formula Three Championship after picking up four race wins and a further four podium places.
The Australian started the season somewhat rocky, only claiming a top-five finish in his fifth race of the season at the Circuit Paul Ricard, but emphatically followed up his fifth-place result with his maiden Formula 3 win in France.
The 18-year-old has been even more successful, making a move into Formula Two and he will look to follow in the footsteps of Oscar Piastri, who claimed the Formula Two World Championship this season.
Doohan joined MP Motorsport for the final two rounds of the 2021 championship and impressed, scoring a total of seven points in two top-10 finishes, including a fifth-place finish at Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
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Alex Peroni, who has most recently competed in the Indy-Lights Series, which is a feeder competition to Indycars itself, has had an unfortunate year behind the wheel. The 22-year-old had an average time in America, only picking up only one podium in 10 races, with a third-place finish in the second race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in May 2021.
The Australian announced that he would be ending his Indy Lights season early, and would not be competing in the final three rounds, instead returning to Europe to focus on opportunities thereafter, citing that his experience in the USA did not live up to his expectations as a racing driver.
“This year hasn’t lived up to our expectations in racing performance, however, I’ve really enjoyed visiting the US for the first time and living here for the past seven months.
“I wish Carlin the best for their future in Indy Lights and I thank them for the opportunity provided to me this year.
“I’d like to thank all of the incredibly friendly and welcoming people in the US that I met on my journey. The warm welcomes I received at race events, in particular, were fantastic.”
Calan Williams is another Australian who competes in the feeder competitions to the illustrious Formula One but had an ordinary season behind the wheel of his Jenzer Motorsport car.
The 21-year-old only had three top-10 finishes in 20 races but did score a third-place finish at the Circuit Paul Ricard in France. It was only at the Red Bull Ring that Williams ended the race in a top 10 spot, subsequently failing to repeat the performance for the remaining 11 races.
“I was really happy with the result in France, it was my first podium in F3, my first points, it was really good.
“We had some great race pace throughout the year, and I think my improvement in race pace is down to not only my development as a race driver but also the extra steps I’ve taken with my physical and mental fitness.”
22-year-old Jordan Love became the youngest driver in the Australian Porsche Carrera Cup Championship history to win the title, when in 2019, he drove to six back-to-back wins and a further five victories which enabled the Western Australian to overcome a 206-point deficit to win the championship.
Fast forward to recent times and Love is racing in Europe. Obtaining a drive in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup Championship with Porsche a 7th place result was his best of the year and in a season affected by the pandemic, the Australian progressed to the GT3 competition with the Mercedes-AMG GT3 of SPS Automotive Performance.
“I went from what they call GT3 Cup Challenge to Carrera Cup Australia…last year I won the championship,” he said.
“I had my eye set on something when I was young, and when it came to crunch time, to moving out of home at 17, it wasn’t even a second guess, it was ‘where is my suitcase?’”
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