Tom Sargent has starred in his NSW Formula Ford debut, finishing second in his very first race at Sydney Motorsport Park on the weekend.
The 16-year-old CHE Racing driver qualified fourth-fastest, and crossed the finish line fourth in the weekend’s opening race. But when two drivers ahead of Sargent were penalised, the talented racer from the NSW town of Young found himself elevated to second.
Two more races were held on Sunday and Sargent finished them in third and fourth respectively. As a result of his consistency across the three races, he finished the weekend only 13 points behind the championship leader.
“It was an excellent first race meeting, and valuable experience racing against some other fast drivers,” Sargent said.
“We were fast in free practice on Friday when it was cold. Once the weather warmed up, the times were slower but we were still able to race inside the top three.
“I made some good overtaking moves and was able to race wheel-to-wheel with Nathan Herne and Cameron Shields, who are two of the front-runners in national Formula Ford.”
Sargent said he and the team have identified some areas of improvement for the next round.
“I’m still working on my race starts – I haven’t had a lot of experience doing standing starts because in go-karts it’s all rolling starts,” Sargent said.
“Also, at the start of the race, I wasn’t pushing hard enough on cold tyres – this is something that comes down to experience, and being able to understand how much grip there is before the tyres have had a chance to warm up.
“Overall, it was a great first race weekend in Formula Ford and I can’t wait to be back on track for the next round,” Sargent concluded.
The next round of the 2018 NSW Formula Ford Championship is combined with Round 3 of the Australian (national) Formula Ford Championship at Wakefield Park, 25-27 May.
Round 1 Results Summary
Race 1: 2nd
Race 2: 3rd
Race 3: 4th
NSW Formula Ford Championship
Points After Round 1
1. Cameron Shields – 85
=2. Cody Burcher – 76
=2. Nathan Herne – 76
4. Tom Sargent – 72
5. Nicholas Padjen – 56