Friday Flashback: Townsville 2015

Friday, 10 July 2015 is a significant date in the history of the CAMS Jayco Australian Formula 4 Championship, with the category making its official debut on the streets of Townsville in Queensland.

13 drivers made up the first field, with many of those drivers since moving on to achieve success in Australia and abroad.

Eventually becoming 2016 Champion, Will Brown was the championship’s first race winner. The Toowoomba driver was then an AGI Sport driver. Finishing alongside Brown was Karratha teenager Nick Rowe, who was a late inclusion into the squad.

“Townsville was very last minute,” AGI Sport Team Principal Adam Gotch said.

“We spoke to him (Rowe) on the phone the Wednesday night, he arrives on the Thursday night, we put him in the car, and he comes third for the round.”

The rivalry between AGI Sport and Team BRM was first spawned on that July weekend in Townsville. BRM’s Jordan Lloyd eventually claimed a further two race wins and round honours that weekend, to then wrap up the 2015 title at the penultimate round at Phillip Island.

With Brown then moving to Team BRM in 2016, AGI Sport got one back on BRM in 2017 to claim their first title with Nick Rowe.

“When my brother and I first entered this championship, we knew that Team BRM were the team to beat,” Gotch said.

“It’s taken three years but I feel like we’ve been slowly chipping away it too. We’ve brought in some talent from Germany, who allowed us to step up our game from an engineering perspective.”

Team BRM’s Mark Rundle congratulated AGI’s achievements on the Gold Coast end of year awards gala.

“At the end of the day Nick drove fantastically well. Adam [Gotch] and AGI did a fantastic job, so it’s hats off to them,” Rundle said.

“It’s a fantastic championship and it’s the way that the world has gone. To have it in this country now, it gives us world recognition to what we’re actually trying to achieve with motor sport. It is the way forward and it is growing.”

The championship’s ethos is something that Gotch, a former Williams F1 mechanic, also shares.

“I’ve been fortunate enough to work at a whole bunch of levels, including F1. I’ve tried to bring some of that ethos to Formula 4,” Gotch said.

“I’ve really enjoyed working with these young kids because they could be the next Daniel Ricciardo. That’s why I do it. I don’t need to do this, but we do it because it’s in our blood.

“We enjoy it and love motor sport. It’s been a fantastic experience.”