Round 4 Race Report – Pole Postion and Second Place Finish!

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This photo pretty much sums up the day! (Photo: Graeme Howie)

The day started with a rather eventful qualifying session, a session in which I set my personal best lap by 7 tenths of a second with a 61.4. It turns out that this is the quickest lap set at Barbagallo Raceway in a Formula Ford since July 2012! As a result I took pole position by 4 tenths of a second. With 2 minutes to go in the session however, I was on an even better lap until pushing into the last corner I fired it off into the sand and brought out the red flag.

I started the first race from pole position.  After getting a good start, I held the lead into turn one. I kept a close eye on my mirrors for the first four laps, making sure that the driver behind me was not close enough to overtake.  Unfortunately, at the end of lap four, I got an awful exit out of turn 7, and lost the lead into the first corner.  I battled hard for the remaining few laps, trying to find whatever way past I could, I managed to get the undercut out of turn seven and pulled alongside as we started the final lap.  Side-by-side through the first corner, then two-wide for the duration of the esses, and halfway through the sweeping left hander of turn 4. Unfortunately my positioning meant I was on the outside for turn 4, and so had to fall back in behind the leader.  He was blocking immensely, and I tried my best to get through, getting extremely close to the back of his car on the final corner, but missed out on the win by just 0.08 seconds.

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We literally raced half the lap like this. (Photo: Mark Sorrell)

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Unfortunately even though in front I ended up on the outside of Turn 4 where there is no grip. (Photo: Mark Sorrell)

In the second race, I started from P2.  I got an average start, but still managed to hold on to second place without losing too much time to the leader.  Again, he was blocking whenever I had the chance to overtake, and slowing on the apex to prevent the undercut.  This made it difficult for me to get through.  Every possible opportunity, I tried to make a move with the undercut, but I just couldn’t find a way through.  We were side-by-side a lot of the race, and I again missed out on the win by 0.08 seconds.

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Post race interview

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Thanks for supporting me Tom! (Photo: Mark Sorrell)

In the final race, I started from second position.  Again my start was sub-par, but I still managed to hold my position.  After closely following the leader for a few laps, I attempted the undercut, but this opened me up to the driver behind me, so I lost second place.  The three of us had some extremely close racing, even going three wide down the main straight at one point. At another I was forced off the track, but fortunately I held control of the car on the grass at 170kph and recovered to stay in touch.

I soon managed to retake second place when the driver in front of me locked up and nearly hit the leader at the final corner.  This created a small gap between the leader and myself, but I quickly closed that gap and was right on his tail once again.  Like the previous races, I was all over the back of him, but couldn’t quite find a way through.  We got very close at times, and even touched wheels on the final corner of the final lap, and I again missed out on the win by an agonisingly small margin!

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Still at it! (Photo: Mark Sorrell)

It was a great day’s racing, and I ended up second overall for the day, and moved up to fifth in the championship, just 8 points behind second!

Once again I had lots of people supporting me over the weekend. A huge thanks to them all, along with my sponsors Truck Dealers Australia, Edith Cowan University, ES2, Impressions the Home Builder, Grand Toyota, Rvend, Fullworks Fire Safety, Kingsway Community Bank Brach, Online Logistics Solutions, Signarama Joondalup and Focused Recruitment. It was also brilliant to have Marcel from F45 Hillarys there to watch who puts so much into keeping my fitness at peak levels.

As always a very big thank you to Brett Lupton for the time he spends on my development and Fastlane Racing.

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