20-YEAR-OLD Australian talent Thomas Sargent will lead McElrea Racing’s charge to the United States, joining the team to contest the 2022 Porsche Carrera Cup North America presented by Cayman Islands championship.
Sargent, who hails from the country town of Young in New South Wales, currently leads the Porsche Michelin Sprint Challenge Australia Series as the series enters the second half of the season.
The impressive young driver has had a fast start to his racing career, already achieving success in key national championships and major endurance races alike.
Moving from karting to cars in 2018, Sargent quickly made his mark in Formula Ford competition, ultimately claiming the 2021 Australian Formula Ford Championship.
In 2022 he partnered with current team owner Cameron Hill to win the Bathurst 6 Hour endurance race at Mount Panorama on the Easter long weekend.
Driving a BMW M2 Competition, Sargent played a starring role in the Production Car classic after starting the race from 63rd position before charging the car to the lead before he completed his first stint, the team going on to claim victory.
His move to one-make Porsche competition this year delivered immediate success: winning five races and leading the championship as the series heads into the final two rounds of the six-round season.
Sargent, who turns 21 in just a few weeks, will move to Mooresville, North Carolina to be near the team’s newly-established base next year.
He is the first driver to be confirmed amidst McElrea’s multi-car attack on the 2022 Carrera Cup North America Championship, with further announcements to follow.
“It’s super exciting, going overseas is something I’ve always wanted to do, so to have this opportunity with McElrea Racing is fantastic,” Sargent said.
“I was planning to follow the route to Europe, but then I had a conversation with (Jaxon’s father) John Evans who put me on to Andy, who said this was something he was planning to do.
“We went over there, checked it out and it looked like the way to go. I’m looking forward to going over there.
“(Porsche Michelin Sprint challenge) has been very valuable. It’s been great to get some laps in the car, get some racing and some racing experience.”
“His performance over here was what drew me to Thomas. He’s a Formula Ford champion and I’m a huge Formula Ford fan so that was what attracted me in the first place,” McElrea said.
“He’s been a standout in Sprint Challenge this year. We wanted to start our team in the US with an Australian flavour and a race winning driver and we have managed to get all that in one guy.
“We want to create a pathway to the US and IMSA racing from Australia and this is a fantastic way to launch that.
“I want it to be January now! We’re going to hit the track testing in January with Tom and his teammate so we’re looking forward to that.”