The recent Formula 1 2018 Rolex Australian Grand Prix was certainly one to remember for CAMS Rising Stars Lochie Hughes, Josh Smith and Ryan Suhle.
The highlight for the three racers was the chance to stand on a Grand Prix grid alongside their Formula 1 heroes, as the very first ‘F1 Future Stars’.
Supercars was also on the menu, with the chance to meet 2006 Supercars Champion Rick Kelly of Nissan Motorsport, thanks to Formula 4 Official Oil Partner Castrol for arranging the meet-and-greet.
The Rising Stars also had a guided tour of the Walkinshaw Andretti United garage, courtesy of Scott Pye. A graduate of the CAMS Rising Star program himself, Pye would go on to claim a popular win in Saturday’s twilight race merely hours later.
Their public speaking skills were also on show, as they shared a stage with fellow CAMS Foundation graduate Molly Taylor – 2016 CAMS Australian Rally Champion. The Rising Stars spoke of their preparations before next weekend’s opening Formula 4 round at Symmons Plains.
Simulator time was one of the many cures the drivers had over the summer break to combat boredom.
Suhle’s talk of “sending it” worked wonders, with Suhle ultimately setting the 2nd outright fastest time on the weekend out of thousands who sat behind the wheel, including beating Formula 1 star Daniel Ricciardo in the process.
Ricciardo also heaped praise on the Formula 4 category, pointing its worldwide relevance as a development pathway from karting.
“Coming out of karts it’s a really good category because you get wings, slicks, all these things,” Ricciardo said.
“And if you’re aiming towards F1 then you need to get some slicks and wings, so F4 is a much more developed car now particularly than what I drove back in the day. It’s a step closer to F3, F2 and F1.”
The journey for these Rising Stars one day making their start on an Australian Grand Prix grid now begins next weekend, with the opening round of the 2018 CAMS Australian Formula 4 Championship at Symmons Plains.
Three races and 75 points are up for grabs for what will be a seven round championship in 2018.