Young karter Cody Donald has looked back fondly after his first foray in the CAMS Jayco Australian Formula 4 Championship last weekend at Sandown.
Competing this weekend for KA3 honours in the final round of the Australian Kart Championship in Melbourne, Donald is eager to step up to Formula 4 in 2017.
“I’ve raced a lot of kids that are now in the category in 2015. If they can do it, I guess I can do it as well,” Donald said.
“It’s been a whole new learning curve… It’s a big experience for me because there’s Supercars drivers here, a lot of different professional categories, a lot of top people in the sport.”
The data and engineering side of Formula 4 is often remarked as one of the big learning curves for drivers arriving from karts. Despite Donald’s relatively limited track time compared to his fellow karting rookies, the young Victorian is pleased to have gained an early understanding.
“The data side of things…I came to grips with it alright, but I still don’t understand a few bits of it but I think that’ll come with more time that I look at it when I analyse it after races,” Donald said.
“Hopefully next year I’ll be able to do a few test days, maybe even this year a few test days, and be able to familiarise myself with it and get better and better as the weekend goes on.”
Comparing a kart to a Formula 4 was also a massive shift for Donald to become accustomed to, but Donald made the transition from a kart to an open-wheel race car with relative ease.
“The car’s a lot different to go karts because you’ve got full slick tyres, you’ve got front wings, you’ve got paddle shift, clutches. It’s a whole different learning curve for me, but I think I’ve adjusted pretty well,” Donald said.
“I know what the power’s like, I know that the tyres have a lot of grip, I know that I can go a lot harder than I have at Sandown this weekend… It’s been a great weekend. I’m looking forward to more of it!”
Donald was grateful for the support he received in his debut circuit race, especially at such a high profile event as the Sandown 500 Supercars meeting.
“I’d like to thank my family for the continuous support in getting me out on the track, Arrow Transport for coming onboard for getting me onto the grid for this round, JRD for prepping the car so quickly and everyone who came out to support me,” Donald said.
“All my fans, school mates, it never goes unnoticed in this sport. I really think about them everyday. It means a lot that they have the support for me.”