Fourteen-year-old Excel racer Aaron Oliver dreams of F1

Raw talent, a mysterious benefactor and a backyard full of Hyundai Excels are the ingredients in a young racing driver's early-career success.

Aaron Oliver is a 14-year-old Murray Bridge High School student.

He is also one of the youngest competitors in the Circuit Excel SA series and a test driver in Formula Four, an open-wheeled format which serves as a pathway to the highest levels of international racing.

His love of racing was inherited from his dad Steve, who began driving karts during a self-confessed midlife crisis.

Aaron started with an electric go-kart of his own in the backyard at the age of three.

At age seven he earned his first Karting Australia licence.

"He genuinely, even then, showed a bit of talent," Mr Oliver said.

"When we put him in a kart for his first race meet, he got a podium (finish).

"Even as a young boy, he'd fly."

When he was still too young to get a CAMS (Confederation of Australian Motor Sport) licence, he raced a manual Mitsubishi Magna on dirt tracks and excelled.

"They kept handicapping him - they'd put him quarter, half, three quarters of the track behind and he kept winning," Mr Oliver said.

His first race in an Excel was at Phillip Island, Victoria, where he finished 10th in a field of 58 after a day of nose-to-tail driving at more than 170 kilometres per hour.

His exploits have earned him an ambassadorship with oil brand Penrite, whose black and gold livery adorns his car and gear.

But it was an approach from Albert Callegher, a former Formula Holden driver turned finance industry mogul, which enabled Aaron's career to take another step.

His sponsorship helped the Oliver family meet the astronomical cost of a day's F4 testing at Mallala, and will hopefully allow him to try one out at The Bend Motorsport Park in the coming months.

Aaron said driving one was an entirely different experience.

"You get the same feeling of being two inches off the ground (as in a go kart), but the speeds and forces you feel in the car are incredible," he said.

"There's no assistance in the steering, but ... you put the littlest amount of steering input into it and it'll turn on a 10 cent piece.

"It's got paddle shifters, too, so you start with the clutch in first, but after that it's a full sequential gearbox like a V8 Supercar."

The family recently moved to the Murraylands relatively recently to be closer to The Bend, with an eye on furthering Aaron's racing career.

He will be eligible to race F4s next year.

Beyond that?

"Every Australian racing driver's dream is to race Formula One or the Aussie V8 Supercar series," Aaron said.

"But I'm a down-to-earth person.

"I'll just take every day as it comes."

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