He may have made a self-confessed mistake early in the weekend, but Tom Sargent more than made up for it with a spectacular charge through the field in Round 4 of the Australian Formula Ford Championship at Sandown on the weekend.
After qualifying 11th outright, Sargent tangled with another competitor in the weekend’s opening race, and was relegated to 19th with a penalty for his part in the incident.
“To be honest, it wasn’t my finest moment in racing – after stepping up from karts, I’m still learning to judge distances and speeds in a full-sized race car. I made a mistake and collided with another driver; I’m the first to admit it was my fault and I certainly accept the penalty.”
However, Sargent quickly learned from his error and what followed was a breathtaking drive through the field, from 19th to seventh in just nine laps.
“The car was fast and I had really good momentum; I felt confident under brakes and I was able to make up positions one-by-one.”
Sargent again finished seventh in the weekend’s third race, but felt he could have done even better.
“We only completed two racing laps in the final race, for the rest of it we were behind the Safety Car because there were some incidents involving other drivers.
“It was a shame, because I was becoming more and more comfortable with the track, and felt I could have overtaken one or two more cars.
“Overall though, it was a good weekend – I learned another new track, and we kept improving the car over the weekend.”
Sargent’s next race meeting will be the biggest of his career – he’ll race alongside the premier category in the country, the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, when Formula Ford appears as a support category at South Australia’s Tailem Bend circuit, 24-26 August.
“I can’t wait to race with the Supercars, and with our recent progress I’m feeling confident of a strong showing,” Sargent concluded.
Race 1: 19th
Race 2: 7th
Race 3: 7th