Will Brown is having a great time during the COVID-19 lockdown.
The Supercars and TCR youngster has turned his competitive focus to selling cars in his home town of Toowoomba, with a bit of flying on the side including aerobatics training with former Red Bull Air Race champion Matt Hall.
“This will be my biggest month, I reckon. I sold 62 cars in May and I’ve already done 40 so far this month,” Brown tells Race News.
Just to cement his success, he has been chosen for the Junior Driver program at Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing, operating out of Germany.
Brown is one of four drivers chosen, based on their success with the Hyundai i30 N that is campaigned in a string of TCR championships, with the promise of grooming and polishing, and very likely some guest-driver spots in the FIA World Touring Car Cup.
Best of all, he’s not paying.
Most of the world’s junior development programs are a pay-as-you-win operation, particularly on the greasy ladder to Formula One, although Porsche is a rare exception with the support of drivers including Matt Campbell and Jaxon Evans.
Brown hit the radar at Hyundai last year with his rookie success in the carsales TCR Australia Series and forged ties to the Korean company’s competition headquarters during an end-of-season celebration in Germany
“When I went over there they told me that were considering a young driver program. Then I got an email confirming it,” Brown says.
“It’s pretty exciting to be involved in it.”
With almost all global motorsport on pause, Brown is not sure what the Hyundai deal will mean. He knows it’s not a full-factory opportunity, since carmakers are banned from direct involvement in TCR racing, but he knows it could be a significant boost to his career.
“They are trying to develop us.To get the best driver they can and get them to World TCR with Hyundai. Ultimately, there is a possibility to do some racing overseas.”
But Brown is also focussed on a shortened Super2 program with Erebus Motorsport this years, as well as an extension of his TCR commitment with HMO Customer Racing, before a planned graduation to the Supercars championship in 2021.
“My first race back is in July with Super2. And then I’ve got a fairly good calendar, too, with TCR.
“COVID has affected things a bit, because I was looking for a good year in Super2 and maybe some Wildcards as well in the main game.
“We’ll probably lose a few of those things. But I’m locked-in next year, full-time, with Erebus in the main game. So the ultimate goal is still there.”
Brown says his dream would be a full-time Supercars seat with occasional overseas raids, as Chaz Mostert and Shane van Gisbergen have done in recent years.
“That would be perfect for me,” he says.
Meanwhile, he’s concentrating on selling cars, more aerobatics, and staying fit for his return to the driving seat.
So Europe can wait.
“But it would be good to be sitting in Business Class, heading for Europe and some TCR racing with Hyundai,” Brown laughs.