There is a buzz in the Formula 4 paddock, as the third test session in the CAMS Jayco Australian Formula 4 Championship comes to a close the ambitious young drivers have now had a taste for what the car at least holds for them in the coming series.
With only a few weeks to go, reality is now setting in and future ambitions and career goals are becoming all the more important.
With a $250,000 prize and a test drive in Europe with Carlin on offer for the winner, this championship is a serious kick-start to any motor sport career.
Seventeen year-old Queenslander Harry Hayek forged his career in karting, and now driving for Team BRM in the 2015 Formula 4 Championship, Harry has a great opportunity to take it to the next level with the support of his Father Joe Hayek.
“Dad and I have discussed that this year is more of a learning year,” Hayek said.
“It would be great if we got in the top half, and next year we may look at doing it again and from there, a possibility of Formula Renault 2.0 litre or maybe the saloon path with V8’s.
“We are here for the journey Dad and I, lets just see where it takes us.
“The ultimate of course would be Formula 1, that’s every kids dream, but being a racing car driver and being paid to do it, that’s the dream for now.”
Harry’s Father Joe was there all weekend supporting him.
“I have obviously been there since the beginning in his karting days and also helped him with sponsorship,” Joe Hayek said.
“I like that he puts in the hard work and is very serious about where he wants to go to.
“If he can show that ability out there on the track then maybe he will be picked up and if not I am sure he will be involved in the motor racing industry for the rest of his life in one shape or form.
“The most important thing is to prepare, with anything that he does in his life he needs to prepare and with the right preparation hopefully there will be some reward at the end.”
Thomas Randle started out in karting when he was seven and finished in 2012 after eight years and multiple Australian karting championships.
It really clicked for him when he won his first big meeting and last year won the 2014 Formula Ford Championship, and this year he hopes to win the inaugural Australian Formula 4 Championship.
“My ultimate goal is to become a Formula 1 World Champion, that’s my ultimate goal and I think Formula 4 will help me,” Randle said.
“Lots of laps and a big learning curve, and we are going to get to some good tracks, going to be with V8 Supercars which will supply some great publicity and if I ultimately win the championship the next step would be to go overseas next year.
“The testing has been pretty good so far, we missed the test at Phillip Island, we did the first test at Winton and the car was running pretty good with just a couple of issues that have been solved at the moment.
“Just mainly been trying to adapt to the car, get my confidence up and make sure I can be as quick as I can.”
Randle believes Formula 4 will help take him to the next step overseas.
“It is another step up from Formula Ford and we are also on a great media frontier. The more people who can watch the series, recognise who is in it and doing well that is who they will want to support the most,” Randle continued.
“The next step would be Europe and the FIA Formula 3 European Championship, that gets a lot of publicity and recognition overseas and I have actually raced against some of the drivers in the series whilst in the Toyota Racing Series this year in New Zealand.
“There are many drivers out there who could take a Formula 1 seat so you really have to make sure you are on top of everyone else."
The opening round of the CAMS Jayco Australian Formula 4 Championship kicks off at Townsville on July 10.