Young driver Tom Sargent has won the first round of the Australian Formula Ford Championship at Sydney on the weekend.
Sargent set the fastest lap-time in Saturday morning's qualifying session, scoring his first pole position.
"Qualifying had previously been one of my weaknesses, so to set the fastest time was a big confidence-booster for me," Sargent said.
In race one, Sargent led every lap until he came across a slower car on the finish line on the final lap. The delay was only a fraction of a second, but it was enough to relegate Sargent to second.
"I was cautious once I caught the slower traffic, and with the field being so tightly-bunched, it only took a very slight loss of speed to cost me the race," Sargent said. "It was a little disappointing, but I was determined to make up for it."
Sargent streaked away in race two as he powered to his first race win at a national level.
"The car felt fantastic and I loved leading from the front. Those sorts of races don't happen very often, so you certainly enjoy them while you can," Sargent said.
Sargent led several laps of race three, but was in a tight battle with two other cars for the entire race. After nine laps, he finished just 0.03s behind the race winner.
"I'm absolutely stoked to break through for my first round win. It's a big reward for my sponsors and family who have supported my progression from karts into car racing, and also Colin Hill, Cameron Hill and everyone else from my CHE Racing Team for giving me such a fast car," Sargent said.
Sargent is leading the points in the series regarded as Australia's premier junior development category, but the 17-year-old knows there's a lot of hard work to come.
"I'm not getting ahead of myself - the level of competition over the weekend was very high, and there are still six rounds to go," he said.
Sargent and his team now turn their attention to the Bathurst six hour production car race on the Easter Long Weekend.
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