The close title contest in the 2019 Australian Formula Ford Championship is set to continue when the series heads to The Bend Motorsport Park for Round 4 as part of this weekend’s AMRS race meeting.
Four drivers have already won races this season: Zac Soutar, Tom Sargent, Callum Hedge and most recently Angelo Mouzouris, who vaulted into the points lead with a clean sweep in the last round at Winton.
Mouzouris and Hedge, along with promising rookie Jay Hanson and rising female talent Courtney Prince, drive for the Sonic Motor Racing squad, which is currently enjoying a purple patch. Along with winning the last national Formula Ford round, the Mick and Maria Ritter-owned outfit has also been victorious in the most recent Porsche Carrera Cup and Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge rounds, and has form on the board at The Bend thanks to a round win last year for eventual champion Hunter McElrea.
But a list of candidates are lining up to bring a halt to the Sonic juggernaut; as well as Sargent and Soutar, the likes of Sargent’s CHE Racing team-mate Lachlan Mineeff, and the two Codys – Burcher and Donald – have shown race-winning potential at various stages this season.
Formula Ford celebrates its 50th year in 2019, and the category continues to be recognised as the most valuable breeding ground for young drivers aiming for a professional career in motorsport. Among the current Virgin Australia Supercars Championship grid, there are eight national Formula Ford Champions (of whom the most recent is 2013 champ Anton De Pasquale), and 23 of the 24 drivers in the field spent time in the category at some stage during their careers.
More recent champions are also well on their way to stardom; 2014 champ Thomas Randle is performing strongly in Super2, 2015 title winner Cameron Hill has gone on to win races in Toyota 86 Series and Carrera Cup, 2016 crown holder Leanne Tander was the first female driver to win a national circuit-racing title, 2017 victor Max Vidau is a multiple race and round winner in Porsche GT3 Cup, and reigning champion Hunter McElrea is currently second in the USF2000 standings, having won his drive through the Road to Indy Shootout programme.
So keep a close eye on the drivers in Formula Ford this weekend, because if history is anything to go by, they will be the stars of our sport’s future.
Australian Formula Ford Championship – top 10 points after Round 3
1. Angelo Mouzouris – 131
2. Callum Hedge – 122
3. Tom Sargent – 117
4. Zac Soutar – 104
5. Cody Burcher – 92
6. Jay Hanson – 82
7. Lachlan Mineeff – 77
=8. Courtney Prince – 72
=8. Cody Donald – 72
=10. Liam McLellan – 68
=10. Jake Donaldson – 68
Formula Ford Round 4 entry list
2. Angelo Mouzouris – Team Sonic MygaleSJ18A
3. Courtney Prince – Team Sonic Mygale SJ011
4. Jay Hanson – Team Sonic Mygale SJ010A06
5. Callum Hedge – Team Sonic Mygale SJ10A
10. Zac Soutar – Team Soutar Mygale 5J13
14. Lachlan Mineeff – Purple Sector/Southern Star Truck Centre Mygale SJ10A
23. Hank Perkins – Bf Racing/Castrol Mygale SJ10A
27. Paul Di Biase – Paul Di Biase/Di Biase Cabinetry Spectrum 011B
29. Ian Shelby-James – Ian Shelby-James Mygale SJ11
36. Cody Burcher – Wp Concreting Spectrum 012B
44. Samuel Woodland – Matthew Woodland/Tcm Motorsport Van Dieman RF06
47. Thomas Sargent – Tegra Australia Mygale SJ2012A
53. Matthew Woodland – Matthew Woodland/Tcm Motorsport Mygale SJ09a
60. Cody Donald – Kmb Motorsport/3D-Racelog Spectrum014B
88. Harrison Goodman – Bf Racing/True Grid Mygale SJ2009a
98. Conor Nicholson – Conor Nicholson Spectrum 011b
TBA. Matthew Roesler – State Fleet Services Spectrum 011C