Callum Voisin was one GB3’s breakout stars in 2022, finishing as the series’ top single-seater rookie and setting the pace by the season’s end, leaving his team boss Trevor Carlin “super impressed”
It’s high praise indeed from Carlin, who has worked with so many of the best young talents over the years including Sebastian Vettel and Lando Norris.
Voisin grew up in Switzerland and made his karting debut aged 10, competing in the Rhone-Alpes Regional Series in neighbouring France.
Having switched to a British licence, he eventually started karting there too, winning titles in the English and Clay Pigeon Kart Club championships at Minimax level, then coming third in the British championship for Rotax Junior karts in 2020. But the COVD-19 pandemic prevented further karting appearances in Europe.
“It’s kind of the foundation, it’s your base in terms of learning,” Voisin says of his karting years. “You learn the basics in terms of racecraft and stuff like that. At the end of the day the pace doesn’t really change anything when you get to cars. But, certainly the basics and learning how everything works.”
He stepped up to car racing in the entry-level Ginetta Junior sportscar series in 2021 with R Racing, the same team older brother Bailey finished third in the standings with in 2020, and signed with EDGE Sporting Management. The company, led by ex-British Touring Car racer Phil Glew, worked with the likes of Pietro Fittipaldi and Enaam Ahmed when they started in cars.
Voisin quickly made his mark in sportscars, winning five of the first eight races, including an emphatic hat-trick at Brands Hatch, but a disqualification and 70-point penalty for a technical infringement at Snetterton left him with ground to make up in the standings. Two more wins followed, with Voisin ending the season sixth in the points and second-best rookie.
Despite incidents and penalties leaving him with mixed emotions, Voisin still has fond memories of his Ginetta campaign.
“Although it was a bit of a weird year, it was so enjoyable. The racing was incredible. In the races you are hardly ever on the racing line. You are always defending or attacking, there’s never a dull moment. For racing, it’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me, I learnt so much.”
“And also car control, if you can drive a Ginetta G40 fast then you can drive most things fast. So in a way, especially for karters, it’s a brilliant way to learn your craft. You’ve got to be a lot more patient, it’s a lot more on the edge, a lot more unstable. The racing in Ginettas, you can’t get much better. It taught me a lot, you’re under constant pressure every circuit you go to.”
His performances were enough to catch the eye of the Carlin team. After testing Formula 4 and GB3 machinery during 2021, Voisin chose the latter series for his step up to single-seater racing, signing with the reigning team for 2022 alongside GB3 sophomores Roberto Faria and Javier Sagrera.
Despite only turning 16 a few weeks before the season got underway, Voisin was immediately close to the pace in his first single-seater qualifying session at Oulton Park, going fifth fastest. A first-lap collision with team-mate Sagrera sent him down the field, but he had already caught the eye with his speed.
“It was a massive difference [from the Ginetta], two-and-a-half times the power, a lot more grip, slicks-and-wings,” says Voisin.
A solid weekend at Silverstone followed, passing team-mate Faria in race two to finish fifth, his best result so far.
But it was at round three at Donington Park where Voisin’s season took off. After qualifying third for race one, he benefitted from a collision between Joel Granfors and Matthew Rees to snatch the lead then take his maiden win in a Carlin one-two.
“Definitely it was a bit of a weight off the shoulder,” Voisin recalls. “We got the first win, which if the other two guys hadn’t crashed out would probably still have been a podium, which would have [still] been a first.”
He built on that success by taking a maiden pole next time out at Snetterton before holding off Luke Browning in race one to take his second victory, but then crashed out of the following encounter. By the season’s halfway point, Voisin had left his team boss in no doubt about his potential.
“I was super impressed,” says Carlin. “Not many people realise this is his first year in single-seaters and he’s made the jump, he’s skipped F4, which some people take two years to do, and he’s come straight into this which is a fast car and high level and he’s won races and scored pole positions. His progress has been staggering.
“I knew he was going to be good when I saw him in Ginettas and he raced well. But you never 100% know how you adapt from a Ginetta to single-seaters. The great thing about him, with Jimmy his engineer, he explains something to him, says ‘you just need to do this’. Callum will just go and do it, whereas some drivers just can’t. So it makes it really easy to help him and make the car better and make him better.”
After a difficult weekend at Spa-Francorchamps, Voisin returned to form a week later at Silverstone by scoring a pair of second places from pole and then storming from 20th to fourth in the reversed-grid contest.
Brands Hatch proved to be his toughest round of the season, with a crash in qualifying leaving Voisin down the field for all three races, and he then suffered a further heavy shunt in the reversed-grid race after colliding with Max Esterson.
“To be honest, I just move on,” Voisin says of the incidents in his rookie single-seater season. “You can’t change what’s happened, so you might as well keep looking forward.
“There’s no point dwelling over what’s happened, obviously you want to learn from them, you want to know where you went wrong and how you can prevent that from happening again, but people are going to make mistakes.”
His campaign ended on a high at the Donington finale, not only scoring his third win but also a double pole to secure the Jack Cavill Pole Position Cup for the season, and finishing fourth in the standings to be the highest-placed single-seater rookie.
“We kept getting better and better every weekend,” reflects Voisin. “Oulton, we were kind of slightly off the pace, but now we’re the pacesetters, so very happy. It’s been a learning year but it’s also been a year of getting some wins under my belt. I backed myself, I thought I could do it. Maybe the odd win but not fighting for wins week in week out. Carlin has been amazing. They’ve excelled me as a driver.”
Voisin hasn’t confirmed his plans for 2023 yet, but wherever he ends up he will definitely be one to watch.
D/O/B 6 March 2006
Country Switzerland / Great Britain
2022: 4th in GB4 (3 wins, 5 poles, 3 fastest laps)
2021: 6th in Ginetta Junior (7 wins, 3 poles, 6 fastest laps)
2020: Rotax Junior Clay Pigeon Kart Club champion, 3rd in British championship, 5th in Rotax Max Euro Winter Cup
2019: Rotax Junior 16th in BNL Karting Series, 34th in Rotax Max Challenge International Trophy Rotax Mini 4th in British championship (English champion), Clay Pigeon Kart Club champion, 6th Super One series, 27th in Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals X30 Mini 8th in British Kartmasters GP
2018: Rotax Mini Super One national championship
2016-17: Championnat Regional Rhone-Alpes