Sonic Motor Racing Services’ young gun Hamish Hardeman is today on top of the world after scoring his maiden win in the third round of the Australian Formula Ford Series at Queensland Raceway over the weekend.
The livewire teenager scored his best ever result in national competition to bolster both his confidence and his overall point score as the Championship takes a break until October.
“It was such a great feeling getting my first win. It was a team effort and couldn't have done it without all the Sonic crew. I’ve been showing pace all weekend and to get the win just proved it. ”
Sonic boss Michael Ritter was naturally pleased with Hardeman’s win haul.
“Hamish did a good job over the weekend and he was able to get the win. It’s a great accomplishment to get his first victory on a national scale and now he can build on that to hopefully get many more. He has the ability and now is the time to consolidate results like QR. I know he’s more determined than ever now.”
Hardeman qualified fourth in qualifying and after a spirited battle with Sonic team-mate Nick Rowe he wound up third in Race one as they crossed the line when he was passed by a rival in the dying stages.
Hamish turned things around quickly the next time out however.
“Race two was an even more intense battle. The top four of us were all fighting for the lead. I even lead the race for a few laps until (Nick) Rowie and Lloyd got past me. It even allowed Golding in on the action. Golding threw it down the inside of me at turn three but with desperation I grabbed the position back into turn four. With one lap to go I was sitting in third and could see an intense battle between Rowie and Lloyd in front of me. On the last lap on the last corner Rowie dived down the inside of Lloyd that ended with them colliding allowing me to come through and take the win!”
Hardeman backed that result up with a strong second in Race three that secured the overall round win and moved him to third place in the Championship and just 31 points off the lead.
“It was the greatest feeling of my life to win the round. It makes me hungry for more wins. I'm going to take this momentum and use it to my advantage for the rest of the season. I would just like to thank the team for making the cars spot on and also my parents for making it all happen.”
For West Aussie 16 year old Nick Rowe the end result was not a true indication of his outright speed.
“Nick was fast all weekend, setting pole in qualifying and breaking lap records and showing some blistering speed. A couple of incidents prevented him from a much better result but I’m encouraged by his endeavor and his desire,” says Ritter.
“We were fast,” recalls Rowe, “but not always lucky. We sat the KTEQ Rentals / Southern Cross Trailers / Tapout Energy Mygale on pole for Race one and ended up finishing third despite setting the fastest lap. We bounced back in Race two to break the lap record and battle for the lead but a last corner crash saw us cross the line in second place and get penalized 30 seconds which relegated us to thirteenth. That really hurt our weekend.”
In Race three the Karratha born and bred speedster shot from the seventh row of the grid to an eventual fourth before conceding one position on the final lap and eventually recording fifth at the fall of the chequers.
Rowe will switch from the bitumen to the dirt this coming weekend as he races at the regional WA “Pithara” Speedway.
Victorian youngster Christian Morina continued his growth with a consistent weekend at QR and a trio of 8th placings.
The youngest of the Sonic fleet qualified 7th and then carried the car to 8th place in Race one despite damage to his gearbox that restricted the car’s speed in top gear.
“That situation would have definitely hampered his speed,” explains Ritter, “so he didn’t do a bad job to come home in eighth. His final two races were far more impressive and even though they were both eighth place finishes as well he was a vastly different driver in the last two. Christian has all the elements it takes to be fast, he just needs to put them all together.”
Morina finished eighth in both the final two races and showed a real desire to improve.
“Obviously I’m very happy for Hamish and the team, to win with the level of competition there was a great result,” says Morina, “from my standpoint I believe we had a productive weekend. We had an issue with the car that we had to deal with in Race one, but other than that, the car was really balanced. We seemed to get closer and closer each race and we were in the lead pack in the final which was really encouraging. Overall I’m pleased with how my weekend panned out, but you always leave wanting more and more. I’m really looking forward to the next rounds and continuing the progress we are starting to build. Big thanks to the team, sponsors and everyone involved with the weekend for their support.”
“In terms of application,” Ritter furthers, “Christian can’t be faulted. He has the heart and the determination. It won’t be long before he’s really in contention for these round podium or wins.”
As the Championship takes a break until the fourth round in October at Wakefield Park in NSW Team Sonic drivers sit in the following positions:
Hamish Hardeman 3rd 123 points
Nick Rowe 5th 87 points
Christian Morina 10th 22 points