Teams in the CAMS Jayco Australian Formula 4 Championship have hit the track for the first time in 2016, with the first official test day held at Sydney Motorsport Park yesterday.
A mix of familiar faces and potential newcomers participated in the test day, with AGI Sport, Team BRM and DREAM Motorsport all present.
Confirmed newcomer Jack Smith enjoyed his first test as an official AGI Sport pilot, after announcing his switch from karting to Formula 4 in January.
“We finished up the year in go karts last year, and sort of looking for a new thing to do. The opportunity came up to do F4, it was a great class for us to step into out of karts,” Smith said.
“We’re getting faster with every session, still got some work to do. It’s getting back into it for the year and slowly getting there.”
Fresh from securing 2nd place in the Formula Masters China Series Winter GP in Sepang, Thomas Maxwell sampled the ex-Thomas Randle DREAM Motorsport car. Randle was present at the test, this time serving as a mechanic to the very car he dominated in TRAVISTY colours around the streets of Homebush in December.
“Yeah first time in an F4 car, so it’s been a bit of an experience for me. I’m really enjoying it,” Maxwell said.
“Having someone like Tom Randle, who’s done the whole season and has a vast amount of experience behind him, to be able to learn off him and bounce things with him…that definitely helps.”
Josh Denton, who also sampled Formula 4 machinery during test days in 2015, tested with Team BRM with the hope of securing a drive with the championship squad.
“It’s been really good so far. We went out for the first session, getting used to the car again and getting all my driver techniques, all my lines, braking pressure, where I can put the throttle on and all that,” Denton said.
“It’s been really good. Today I think I’ve really improved in my driving. I think my brake pressure is up a lot higher than it was previously. I’m getting used to a lot of the driving techniques in cars and stuff.”
Toowoomba driver Will Brown made a surprise appearance in the ex-Jordan Lloyd BRM, having spent the 2015 season running with AGI Sport.
“Fantastic day. Get to test Jordan Lloyd’s championship winning car so that’s really exciting,” Brown said.
“The car feels great. The team have prepared it great. We did a seat fitting only a week ago. It feels great, doing the best we can out there. Really happy with it.”
Inaugural champion Lloyd was also on-hand at Team BRM as a mentor and to gain crucial seat time as he prepares to race in the United States this year.
“Yeah it’s just to keep my eye in for what I’m going to be doing this year, as well as mentoring Harry [Hayek] and Will and obviously the newer guys as well like Josh. It’s good bit of support for them as well, to have me here and go through the data with them as well,” Lloyd said.
Crews will undertake another test day in late March, before the opening round at the V8 Supercars Tasmania SuperSprint at Symmons Plains on the weekend of April 1–3.