Aussie racer makes his point
AUSTRALIA has a new international motor-racing star. Reigning Australian Formula Ford champion Tim Blanchard has had a fast start in the British series and is a serious title contender.
After two rounds in the British Formula Ford championship, the Melbourne-born driver is second in the points standings.
The last Aussie driver to make such a strong impression on the category was James Courtney in 2000.
‘‘It’s going pretty well,’’ Blanchard says. ‘‘I’ve joined a good team. They’ve won the championship in the past. I’ve done a fair amount of testing and all the races have gone well so far.’’ That’s understating things. Blanchard led the points after the first round and backed it up with two more podium finishes last weekend at Scotland’s Knockhill circuit.
His biggest rival at this stage is his Jamun Motorsport teammate Wayne Boyd, and Blanchard knows he will need to maintain his strong start if he is going to win the title. If he does win it, he’ll join Courtney and Russell Ingall as Aussies to take the UK crown.
‘‘My teammate is a good driver so we just have to keep chipping away getting good points hauls,’’ he says. ‘‘If we do that we should be there at the end of the year.’’
Blanchard’s aim is to reach Formula One, but he knows if he doesn’t make it his English experience will help prepare him for a career in Australia.
‘‘I think V8 Supercars has become so competitive that doing the Fujitsu Series or Carrera Cup isn’t enough to get you a drive in the main game,’’ he says. ‘‘You see guys like James Courtney and Will Davison come into the series with international experience and go well.’’
Win or lose, Blanchard is already planning a move to the British Formula Three championship next year.
Title push: Tim Blanchard rips around the Knockhill circuit, where he had two podium finishes.