March 20, 2001 - Leading Australian Formula Holden team NRC Racing are delighted to announce that 21 year old ex Formula Ford driver Stewart McColl will drive the team's second Reynard 95D alongside American rookie Emerson Newton-John. Both McColl and Newton-John will make their Championship debut at this weekend's opening round of the 2001 Holden Australian Drivers' Championship at Victoria's Phillip Island Grand Prix circuit.
McColl recently tested with the team on two occasions and impressed team owner Arthur Abrahams and his engineers significantly with his technical input and speed. The signing of McColl completes an all-rookie driving line up for NRC Racing this season, with talented 26 year old Californian Newton-John confirmed as team driver a fortnight ago.
For the 21 year old, confirmation of his place with one of the series' leading teams - with mere days remaining to the opening round, has been a major relief after a determined effort since the end of last season to locate a quality Formula Holden drive.
"It has been difficult waiting for so long during the off season for many things to happen to allow me to join a top Formula Holden team this season. To join NRC Racing at the last minute before the first round certainly makes it all worth it - it couldn't have worked out better for this major step in my motor racing career. I am very excited about the season ahead," McColl said.
For team owner Arthur Abrahams, McColl's placement with the team completes a strong driver line up for the 2001 Formula Holden season. "There has been plenty of speculation as to who would be driving the #19 car for NRC Racing recently," He said.
"I think Stewart McColl can do an excellent job for the team and we are looking forward to working with him and assisting his development during the Championship. At the recent NRC Racing Philip Island test Stewart was immediately quick, displaying that he can run competitively with the 2001 field. With an all-rookie line up, NRC Racing is excited and confident that we can win races and take podium positions, while continuing our philosophy of developing young driving talent through this advanced open wheeler category," Abrahams added.
McColl started his career in Karts and by the age of 16 took the runner up honours in the 1996 NSW Premier State Cup Series. He then competed in Formula Vee racing, once again taking the runner up honours in the Australian Championship in 1997. McColl then dominated the 1998 NSW Formula Ford Championship, winning nine races from twelve and taking pole position in all but three of the races. In 1999 he competed in the first of two Australian Formula Ford Championships, winning two races and taking one pole position, returning in 2000 to take four victories, two top three finishes and three top ten placings scoring third place overall in the Championship.