16-year-old Young racer Tom Sargent has confirmed an expanded program of 2018 events, starting this weekend when he ventures to Sandown Raceway for Round 4 of the Australian Formula Ford Championship.
While he initially planned to focus on the NSW FFord Championship before progressing to the national series next year, Sargent’s performance at the Wakefield Park round in May – a combined state and national event – was so impressive he elected to compete in a few more national rounds during 2018.
“This year was always going to be a learning year, being my first season racing cars after stepping up from karts,” Sargent said.
“Initially, our primary concentration was going to be the state series, but then at Wakefield Park I was running in the top 10 against all the national drivers, which was above our expectations for only my second race meeting in the car.
“We decided to do a few more national rounds – as well as testing myself against a higher level of competition, it will also allow me to learn some of the interstate tracks, which will be valuable experience for when I step up to compete in the full national series.”
Sargent said slipstreaming will be paramount at Sandown this weekend.
“Slipstreaming in Formula Ford is always important – you can gain a lot of time if you can get a tow from the car in front, or use it to set up an overtaking opportunity,” he said.
“Sandown has two long straights, so it’s essential to get a good tow in qualifying and the races. It’s an aspect of my performance I know I need to work on, so I’ll be concentrating on it this weekend.”
Sargent will again benefit from engineering support from his CHE Racing Team, including driver coaching from 2015 Formula Ford Champion (and current Porsche Carrera Cup competitor) Cameron Hill.
“Cameron knows Sandown well, having raced there in Formula Ford and Toyota 86 Series, so I’ll be making the most of his knowledge,” Sargent said.
Australian Formula Ford Round 4 – Schedule
Saturday, 21 July
9:40 – Qualifying
13:33 – Race 1
Sunday, 22 July
9:23 – Race 2
13:24 – Race 3