SEAT Cupra racer Liam McMillan has revealed that he will make the move into the HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship for the 2009 season.
The 18-year-old will take on the challenge of the BTCC in a SEAT Toledo run by his own Maxtreme outfit, with the family-run team having purchased the cars raced by BTC Racing during the 2008 campaign.
McMillan has three years of racing experience behind him, having dominated the 2006 Saxmax series for young racers before moving into the UK SEAT Cupra Championship in 2007.
He then moved on to compete in the Spanish SEAT series last year and will look to challenge some of the established order as he graduates to touring cars for the first time.
“My aim this year is to get a top ten result,” he said. “We're up against Vauxhall as a manufacturer entry and some top independent teams, so the competition is the best you can find. We have a five-year-old car and a small family budget, but we won't use that as an excuse – we're going out to do our best and challenge for good results.”
The teenager got his first taste of the Toledo during a day of running at Snetterton – where the car appeared in the traditional Maxtreme livery – and despite cool weather conditions, was able to complete plenty of meaningful running in the ex-works machine.
“The Leon I drove last year and the Toledo are very similar in speed, although the Toledo is a completely different car to drive,” he said. “You really have to take the Toledo by the scruff of the neck and work hard inside the cockpit, because there is an awful lot going on!
“It was so cold at Snetterton that it was very difficult to get any heat into the rear tyres, but it was a good opportunity to get some miles under my belt. I've spent the last two weeks stripping the car down to a bare shell and rebuilding it, so it's nice to finally get behind the wheel.
“The Toledo is everything I thought it would be. It's fast, it handles well through the corners and it is physically demanding to drive. It's like a big workout!”