At only 17 years of age Max Vidau is Australia’s fastest apprentice. At an age when most young people are still in a quandary about which direction their career trajectory should go, South Australian racing driver Max Vidau had become the Australian Formula Ford Champion at 16 years of age after having won the Victorian Formula Ford Championship the year before.
Max started his school based Mechanic’s Apprenticeship during Year 11 in 2017 and is currently in his second year of this apprenticeship, working at his family business, MV Automatics, located in the Adelaide suburb of Blackwood.
Working within the family business allows Max to have the flexibility required to take part in racing team test days and of course the race events themselves, while also ensuring that he has a qualification behind him. From a technical and engineering point of view, intrinsic mechanical knowledge is also extremely helpful with the feedback that he can provide his race engineers to properly set up his racing cars.
Max is following in the footsteps of Australia’s most successful racing drivers. An early start racing dirt karts at 7 years of age, paved the way for a stellar junior karting career that resulted in seven major national titles and a host of state and club level accolades. These performances saw him ready to successfully step up to Formula Ford competition at just 14 years of age.
Max won the 2016 Victorian Formula Ford Championship with a clean sweep of five round victories from the five rounds of the championship, four Pole positions (fastest qualifier) and a total of 13 individual race wins. On the way he also reset Jamie Whincup’s (Australia’s seven time champion and most successful ever Supercar driver) long standing Winton Raceway Formula Ford Lap Record.
More success followed in 2017 when Max became the youngest driver ever to win the Australian Formula Ford Championship at 16 years of age. Max achieved this with two round wins, three round podiums (top three overall results), two Pole positions and four front row starts.
Max has even proven his speed when competing in one-off races in different motor racing categories as diverse as the HQ Holden and Excel Series, enjoying strong performances in each that belied his young age and experience level.
The 2018 season is becoming the most exciting of his career, competing in the high powered Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge, a highly competitive national one-make series that is designed to showcase driver talent, through the close racing of identical Porsche 911 Cup Cars.
Max’s competitiveness this season has the potential to springboard the young Adelaide-based driver into the Porsche Carrera Cup Championship, which is renowned as the final step before Super cars and International GT racing competition.
It has been a strong start to the 2018 season for Max, claiming the opening round win at the brand new Tailem Bend (SA) circuit with two race victories and fourth overall at the series’ second round at Melbourne’s Sandown Raceway. He followed this up with a fighting second place after racing from the rear of the field at Phillip Island’s third round, placing him third in the championship standings at the half way point of his debut Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge season.
Max has set the goal of becoming a professional racing driver both within Australia and abroad. Considering the experience and success that he has already gained at such a young age, be sure to keep your eye on this Australian star racer (and mechanic) of the future.