Liam Talbot takes short road to enduro racing success
QUEENSLANDER Liam Talbot loves getting behind the wheel of high-powered machines.
He bought a Monaro when he was 21, has driven mine trucks, and tonight in Abu Dhabi he will take a step towards his goal of driving in the famous Le Mans 24-hour race when he lines up with former MotoGP world champion Jorge Lorenzo in the Gulf 12 Hours race at Yas Marina.
The 31-year-old (pictured), the son of the late Queensland coal mining billionaire Ken Talbot, admitted he never had a driving ambition to become a race car driver.
A chance meeting two years ago with David Hardman - a highly-experienced team manager with more than 20 years experience in the automotive and motor sport industries - led to the creation of Liam Talbot Racing at the start of 2013.
Since then, thanks to a combination of hard work, meticulous planning and talent, Talbot has quickly set about climbing the endurance motor sport mountain.
In his team's maiden season he secured a string of wins and podium finishes before winning the four-cylinder class of the national Radical SR3 series. He also drove a Lotus Exige S in the Bathurst 12 Hour, finishing first in Class C in his first official race.
This year, a podium finish at the Nurburgring 1000 in Germany caught the eye of influential Kessel Racing team boss, Ronnie Kessel, leading to his drive in the Ferrari 458 GT3 with Lorenzo.
Surprisingly, Talbot (admitted he had never been into cars as a kid, preferring to spend his school holidays working at one of his father's coal mines.
"I never followed motor sport growing up, and all this has been unbelievable," he told APN.
"I've been told that what I've done is not normal. It shows anything is possible."
If he does ultimately fail to reach his goal, it won't be for the lack of effort.
"I've been practising with a simulator and the on-board footage we've got, just learning the muscle memory required," he said. "We've also had an extra 15kg pushing down on my helmet to replicate the g-forces.
"A lot of training has gone into the success I've had."
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