Aaron Oliver may not be a household name just yet, but the 15-year-old has certainly done his bit in 2020 to put himself on the right pathway for forging a strong career in the sport.
Having started in motorsport through karting, at just seven years of age, the South Australian made 120 starts across six years in the discipline, claiming a state championship, multiple state and title wins, representing a healthy 66 per cent podium rate.
After six years, Oliver received his Motorsport Australia licence and made the move to Circuit Excel racing, where he has competed at events with-in Victoria and South Australia.
In his first year behind the wheel, in what has become Australia’s most popular grassroots racing category, the youngster managed to secure a number of solid results – finishing within the top six during every South Australian round, while securing a credible top 10 finish in the 2019 Excel Nationals at The Bend Motorsport Park.
In 2020, the Penrite Oil Racing ambassador kept busy during the lockdown by competing in the National Shannons Circuit Excel E-series, placing third in the outright standings.
When it was finally time to go racing again, Oliver picked up plenty of impressive results whenever he was on track before his coming-of-age performance during the inaugural Excelraceparts.com SA Enduro earlier this month.
Racing alongside his long time racing mate in 16-year-old Joel Johnson, the duo were on song for much of the weekend with their first career pole and race win. The teenagers were just as good in the second outing as they nursed their damaged car to a podium.
The combined official results saw the teenagers claim the round victory in what was an extremely eventful weekend and one they can both build on for 2021.
Following on from his maiden round victory, Oliver was pleased with his progress and how he fared during the meeting.
“Dad and I have worked really hard on the car set-up and my driving technique for the past two seasons of racing, so to finally get our first pole, race and event win was a surreal, yet awesome experience,” Oliver said.
“Words just cannot describe the euphoria of finally achieving our first win. Especially since it involved Joel driving and his dad Mark helping out on the tools, it was a team effort and this meant a lot to all of us.
“It was a sigh of relief more than anything because I have always believed that we were capable of achieving great results, it was just a matter of everything coming together.
“Karting taught me the basics of race craft, like braking, lines, kart control in all conditions and the mechanics, whereas my time in a front wheel drive Excel taught me about car control, vehicle weight transfer, adapting to a manual gearbox and understanding the importance of correct suspension setups. The transition was then just a matter of transferring all my kart racing skills into the car, which I was quickly comfortable with.
“A massive thank you to my dad, Stephen, because without his support, time and effort, I certainly would not be in the position I am today. Also to all my sponsors, Penrite Oil, Joe Maiorana 4 Real Estate, Burgess Paint 'N' Panel Crash Repairs, Repco Australia Adelaide, MB WeldEng Co, Bridge Batteries and Solar, Revolution Racegear, Misch's Excel Garage and Living the Dream Australia."
Oliver is currently in the process of securing a drive in the Toyota Gazoo 86 Racing Series with plans yet to be confirmed.