Josh Conroy speaks perhaps one of the most important languages a driver could ever learn – engineer speak.
The DREAM Motorsport pilot, beyond his state racing experiences in NSW Radical Cup, is also a junior engineer in Japan’s Super Formula series.
“From my perspective, coming from an engineering background, I approach learning the cars and reading the data in a different way,” Conroy said.
“I like to analyse it, look at the technical perspective, and then process it in my own head so I know what I have to do.
“It’s not just sit there and be told what to do, and get abused for doing the wrong thing and praised for doing the right thing! I like to make my own judgement. It possibly takes a bit longer, but it’s more in depth and I prefer that.”
Having initially started his CAMS Jayco Australian Formula 4 Championship with AGI Sport during the opening round in Tasmania, Conroy made a last-minute call to join DREAM Motorsport on the week of Round Two at Phillip Island.
Whilst the cars are fundamentally the same with regard to components, the methods in setting up a car differ up and down the grid.
“The base setups from the cars come from the fastest driver in the team,” Conroy said.
“So if a driving style of the fastest driver is different to yours, it probably doesn’t suit you.
“With DREAM, I had a test day where we could tune it to my liking, I could start to work with the team and understand how they operate and how we can work together. They are different, for sure, but they [AGI Sport and DREAM] both have their positives.”
Conroy campaigned the ex-Thomas Randle DREAM Motorsport machine in Phillip Island, which propelled Randle to seven race wins and second overall to championship rival Jordan Lloyd in 2015.
“It was a challenge,” Conroy said.
“I’ve got big shoes to fill stepping into Tom’s car, he’s doing well in Europe now. But the car is quick. We’ve got good information from last year when they ran here as well, it’s good to be able to compare to that.”
“By the end of the race [Race Two], I think, I had the fourth fastest time. The key now is just getting there faster. Rather than doing it on lap seven or eight in the races, do it in lap two.”
Round Three of the CAMS Jayco Australian Formula 4 Championship returns to Sydney Motorsport Park on July 1–3.