ERICKSON DELIVERS STAR PERFORMANCE
After the opening round of the Genuine Ford Parts Australian Formula Ford Championship at Eastern Creek last weekend, Daniel Erickson sits in fifth position. He leads his CAMS Rising Star teammates Jake Chapman (eights) and Scott Pye (tenth).
After topping the timesheets in the second practice session, Daniel qualified in a strong fourth position. So competitive is the field in 2008 that Daniel’s time was just 4/100ths shy of a front row start! Daniel posted results of fourth, fifth and seventh across the three races, gaining valuable experience on the challenging Eastern Creek circuit. ‘What a great start to the year!’ said Daniel. ‘It was definitely hard work out there,’ he added. ‘The Creek is really hard on tyres, so the car’s handling changes quite a bit across the weekend. The more experienced drivers have the advantage of knowing what to expect and how to adapt to that, while I have to react to the changes as I feel them. But I’ve learned so much this weekend and can’t wait for the next round,’ Daniel concluded.
Jake Chapman showed the strongest improvement compared to pre season testing. ‘Testing was tough,’ Jake commented. ‘My data was good, but I wasn’t putting the laps together. It was very pleasing to find a rhythm here straight away,’ he said. He did just that; impressively fourth fastest in both practice sessions! Jake qualified in seventh, but again was only a couple of tenths off a front row time. Race one netted a sixth place finish; unfortunately a small error in race two resulted in a spin that dropped him outside of the top ten. Dicing in the pack saw him contacted in the early laps of race three, forcing him to retire.
After setting the third and eighth fastest times in practice, Scott Pye qualified in fifth. A first lap incident dropped him down the order, but he drove well to recover to 11th position by the end of race one. A far more conservative approach in race two saw Scott improve to eighth position, setting him up for a strong performance in the final race. As the field entered the almost flat out turn one to commence the second lap, Scott was overtaking a fellow competitor who turned across him, taking both cars out of the race. ‘That was very disappointing,’ was the understatement from Scott. ‘We had the pace to be up there; a little error in race one can really hurt your weekend,’ he said. Despite this, it was a positive weekend as Scott was able to demonstrate his potential and learn from the experience.
The CAMS Rising Star team looks forward to the next round at Wakefield Park, near Goulburn in NSW on April 4-6. All three drivers would like to thank the CAMS Rising Star Program and its program partners the Australian Sports Commission, Biante Model Cars, OAMPS Insurance Brokers, Borland Racing Developments, the Confederation of Australian Motor Sport, Stand 21 Australia, Just Magazine Group, Fleetwood Print Group, Robert Bosch Australia, Mark Webber and McBadges.