Young motor racing star Liam Lawson received the best birthday present ever with confirmation that he will test next week with leading European Formula team Van Amersfoort Racing.
Lawson, who turned 16-years-old last weekend, will test a Formula 4 car with the Dutch based team (VAR) at Zandvoort with an eye on competing in the German championship, arguably the world's toughest F4 competition.
The test comes on the back of a stand-out year in the Australian Formula 4 series, where Lawson finished 2nd, and a strong showing in the United States at the Road to Indy Shootout.
"I couldn't believe it when they told me on Sunday [his birthday] that my supporters had raised enough for me to do the test. That's gotta be the best birthday present ever!
"It's a huge opportunity and I can't wait to do my very best and see where it leads," said Lawson.
The Pukekoke teen is under no illusion how tough his foray into Europe will be.
"This is a big step-up for me and to work with a team like VAR is going to be a whole new experience. They're a very professional operation and they've been involved with some very successful drivers at the early stages of their careers. I'm very lucky to get the chance to test with them."
Although there's no deal yet to compete in the German series, Lawson's backers are busy trying to secure the support to make it happen.
The day Liam Lawson won the SpeedSport Scholarship in 2015, which started his car racing career, fellow winner Richie Stanaway won the GP2 race at the Monaco Grand Prix and that image of success has stayed with him.
"I remember Richie won at Monaco the day I won the scholarship, and before that he'd won the German Formula 3 championship with VAR, so I hope I can be successful with them as well," added Lawson.
Stanaway went on to drive professionally for Aston Martin and this year makes his V8 Supercars debut driving a Ford for Tickford Racing in Australia.
Lawson's also fortunate enough to have some of Stanaway's early supporters, among others, backing his efforts to carve out a career in Europe.
The two-day test at the Zandvoort circuit will follow two days of simulator work and a fitness assessment.
Liam Lawson 021 173 3624
Jared Lawson 027 547 7515
Grant McDonald 027 227 3554