Josh Buchan – it’s a name not many in motorsport knew two years ago. Now he’s earned the respect of his peers as one of Australia’s best hot hatch racers.
The Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series front-runner has humble beginnings in the sport that he’s now made a career out of.
Born and raised in Lithgow, Buchan was a late starter in motorsport terms. It wasn’t until he a week before his 16th birthday that he contested his first go-kart meeting.
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It was, for all intents and purposes, just a bit of fun.
The teenager didn’t have the budget to pursue a career in racing.
After all, he’d started far too late to even consider it.
“I just wanted to drive fast,” Buchan told Wide World of Sports.
“It took me a while to get in because I was pretty short for cash, so I was just happy to race karts, to be honest.”
Karting would be Buchan’s primary domain for a few years until a Formula Ford team that designed, built and raced their own cars went looking for a driver.
Buchan was brought on in the knowledge that he had no money, but brought speed. That, Buchan said, was more than he ever thought he would do.
Then, a chance to climb another rung on the ladder presented itself.
“I was at a wedding one day and met a guy and a couple of weeks later I was driving his Formula 3 car,” Buchan explained.
“He had sponsorship from the local McDonald’s guys. He had about eight franchises and he would give the team $100,000 a year or something to run.
“It was almost like sponsor a child, a dude who couldn’t really pay for it himself – and that was me he decided for that year for whatever reason.”
Then the apocalypse hit, racing stopped and Buchan’s plans to take another step up into S5000 were canned.
All the while the COVID-19 pandemic wreaked havoc on world motorsport, the New South Welshman continued working as a driver trainer for Hyundai.
“The entire time that was happening, I worked and made a living driver coaching for brands and manufacturers,” Buchan explained.
“One of the brands I did quite a bit for was Hyundai. One day they got in touch and said, ‘You should ring Barry Morcom. He’s got a free TCR seat for the next year’.
“I thought ‘Oh, it’s not free. I’m sure there’s a car available, but it’s not free’. I basically rang Barry and a couple of months later we were driving cars in TCR.”
Simply, Buchan’s career has been all about being in the right place at the right time.
Now 26 years old, he finds himself regularly competing for wins in the Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series and beating some of Australia’s biggest names, including Chaz Mostert.
Buchan shook the scene when he finished third on his TCR debut and went on to claim two wins in his maiden season.
After four rounds this year, he already has a win and three more podiums to put himself third in the standings.
It’s been a humbling experience and the realisation of a dream.
“You just think yourself lucky that you’re around guys who are in their prime and you’re making waves, not only in Australia but around the world,” Buchan said.
“It is cool racing those big guys. You do notice a bit of a change in people’s perception of you like, ‘Oh, you’re not just a joker anymore. You actually go half all right’. Yeah, that’s nice. It’s also helped in the work well. More people want your help.”
Two years ago, Buchan rocked up on the grid as a nobody. Now he’s a respected face in the field.
Reflecting on his journey, Buchan took a philosophical approach.
“I always believed in my skill set so I was never, ever concerned that if I did get a break if you like that I do OK or not,” he said.
“I was always pretty confident that if ever I got the tools to do a job on a stage, I’m sure I’d do the job.
“Considering I was just a car nerd as a kid who could tell what car was what based off the headlights at night, yeah, very lucky to be where I am. That’s for sure.
“Honestly, if it all ended tomorrow, I’d be amazed at what I’ve done.”
Buchan will be part of the headlining Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series grid at Queensland Raceway across August 5-7 for what will be the fifth round of its calendar.
Turtle Wax Trans Am will play support as well as Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia Powered by AWS, Porsche Michelin Sprint Challenge Australia, the Australian Production Car Series, GC Marine Australian Prototype Series and Radical Australia Cup.
SpeedSeries coverage will be live and ad-free, exclusively on Stan Sport with a bumper 12 hours of broadcasting across Saturday and Sunday.
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