After being on the sidelines for just over a year after a shocking injury, former CAMS PAYCE Australian Formula 4 Championship driver Harry Hayek will make a return to racing in the V8 Touring Car Series.
Racing at Queensland Raceway this weekend, the Ipswich venue was also Hayek’s first national race and round victory after his first stint in Europe in 2016.
Hayek then returned to Europe to compete in the BRDC British F3 Championship in 2017, until a burst fracture in his vertebrae and then a separate kidney problem forced the New South Welshman to focus on his health.
With the assistance of Mark Rundle at Team BRM, Hayek then assessed an opportunity to compete in the V8 Touring Car Series.
“A couple of months ago I got the all clear to resume normal activities from my back specialist, so we got in touch with Mark Rundle from BRM who agreed to assist me in my comeback,” Hayek said on bradjonesracing.com.au.
“Mark organised a half day test with Terry Whyhoon down at Winton, so we can ascertain whether the back could handle the pressure, and all went well.”
The car Hayek will campaign is fellow 2016 Australian Formula 4 graduate Jack Smith’s 2017 title winning Brad Jones Racing VE Commodore.
“By chance the opportunity came to race with Brad Jones Racing at Queensland Raceway and Mark quickly organised the drive,” Hayek said.
“I get to jump into the car tomorrow for the first time and can’t express in words how excited I am to drive again and especially with such a successful team.”
Hayek is one of a handful of former Formula 4 racers competing in the V8 Touring Car Series this year, with 2017 Formula 4 drivers Tyler Everingham leading the series ahead of Zak Best.
Jack Smith is fourth in the series standings as he juggles Super2 Series commitments, and Harley Haber will also make his V8 debut for Image Racing aboard a Falcon FG.
The CAMS PAYCE Australian Formula 4 Championship will share the billing this weekend at Queensland Raceway at the Ipswich SuperSprint round of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship.