Inaugural Island Formula Success
Ten young drivers have enjoyed the inaugural Spectrum Racing Cars - Island Formula two-day driver development program, held at Victoria’s Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit.
Drivers assembled at Borland Racing Developments’ facility in Braeside, Victoria on the opening day of the program to attend a comprehensive workshop session run by industry specialist Chris Jewell which exposed participants to the finer points of the sport including a motorsport-specific psychometric assessment, while appearances from current Spectrum/ BRD Formula Ford driver Shae Davies and Ford Performance Racing’s Chaz Mostert added a driver’s insight to the program.
A communal welcome dinner provided for drivers and their families at The Island Accommodation on Tuesday night was enjoyed by all, before the ten eager participants headed to one of Australia’s fastest and most exciting circuits on Wednesday to sample Duratec Formula Fords prepared by leading teams, Borland Racing Developments and Synergy Motorsport.
Drivers were faced with changeable weather conditions all day - and to the credit of the ten participants, including some who were sampling a racing car for the first time - all followed instructions set by their designated engineers and completed their on-track sessions without incident.
The program was regarded as a success by Borland Racing Developments and its sales and marketing agency Velocity Management Group, while drivers were equally in praise of the event.
15-year old Joey Mawson, fresh from an outstanding second place in the Junior Max class at last weekend’s Rotax World Finals in Abu Dhabi, thoroughly enjoyed the experience offered by Spectrum Racing Cars.
Mawson said, “Island Formula was by far and away the best experience I have had now in a Formula Ford. Phillip Island is just an awesome circuit too, it was really challenging in the rain but once the track dried out at the end of the day I got into a good rhythm and had a lot of fun. The workshop was very valuable as well because while driving is one thing, learning things like sponsorship, public relations, understanding data and the mental side of racing is extremely important if I want to reach my career goal of Formula 1.”
While 19-year old New Zealander Mark Gibson who travelled to Island Formula from Taupo with his older brother Rob, was very impressed after his first drive of a Formula Ford. “That was awesome. These are just real racing cars! Compared to the Suzuki Swift Series car I race in New Zealand, these are so responsive and satisfying to drive. It was great working with the engineers and looking at the data of my laps overlayed with the regular driver Daniel Erickson to learn where I was quick and where I can develop. I just want to find that extra time now...”
Perhaps Traralgon driver Nick Ellen summed up the experience best for all drivers.
“Everything about the program was very valuable. Obviously the driving was my favourite part but what we learnt was really useful information and it was a good experience as well. I learnt heaps over the two days.”
Spectrum Racing Cars would like to thank all drivers and their attendant parents and guardians for their participation in Island Formula. Attention for the all-Australian constructor now shifts to preparation for the 2012 racing season and production of the all-new Spectrum 014 chassis.