Austin’s For­mula de­vel­op­ing fast

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - Health Communities - Joel Kelly

ROLLING in on his cafe rac­er­style moped, which he ex­pertly tuned over the school hol­i­days, it is clear Austin Pear­son pos­sesses mo­tor­sport DNA.

The 16-year-old Wes­ley Col­lege stu­dent ef­fec­tively came out of nowhere last year to win the 1200cc For­mula Vee ti­tle in West­ern Australia.

It was his first sea­son in the For­mula Vees af­ter grad­u­at­ing from Tiger Kart Club, where his For­mula 1 idol Daniel Ric­cia­rdo also raced as a ju­nior.

He shares the num­ber three with Ric­cia­rdo, along with sim­i­lar am­bi­tions.

Austin’s break­out year fea­tured 21 race wins, a rookie of the year award and sec­ond place in his cat­e­gory in a na­tional For­mula Vee event at Phillip Is­land last Novem­ber.

He lapped Barba­gallo Race­way in a per­sonal best time of 1min and 10.2073 sec­onds, a time not seen in the For­mula Vees since 2006 on a smoother sur­face.

“I ac­tu­ally re­ally sur­prised my­self with the out­come last sea­son, es­pe­cially with the first cou­ple of races I was in and again over at the Na­tion­als,” Austin said.

“We went over (to the na­tional com­pe­ti­tion) with the goal of get­ting in the top five, so we were happy as hell to get sec­ond.”

This sea­son starts in March and Austin will progress to the 1600 For­mula Vee cat­e­gory, regu- larly seen as a step­ping stone to a higher level of mo­tor sport.

Larry Perkins, Ja­son Barg­wanna, Colin Bond and John Bowe be­gan their ca­reers in For­mula Vee.

How­ever, Austin will also need to bal­ance his rac­ing with study as he fin­ishes Year 12, with na­tional as­pi­ra­tions clash­ing with ex­ams later this year.

Even at school, Austin fol­lows his mo­tor­sport dreams, com­plet­ing en­gi­neer­ing units and join­ing a team that built and raced a car at Perth’s Elec­tric Ve­hi­cle Chal­lenge.

This year, Austin hopes to chal­lenge FVAWA 1600 cham­pion and pres­i­dent David Camp­bell.

“I’m hop­ing for the best re­sult in 1600cc that I can, which means mak­ing the State ti­tles again, then head­ing to the Na­tion­als in Tas­ma­nia, then see­ing where I can go from there to com­pete against big­ger, more ex­pe­ri­enced rac­ers,” he said.

“Next year I’m look­ing at a course over at Bathurst for mo­tor­sport and en­gi­neer­ing.

“It’s a two-year course that could set me up for a lot of things, so that’s what I’m aim­ing for next year and the year af­ter.”

Like For­mula 1, the For­mula Vee sea­son in Australia starts next month.

“For­mula 1 is some­thing I def­i­nitely want to get into,” Austin said.

“It’s my dream, a life­time goal and it would be amaz­ing to get into.”

Pic­ture: Mar­cus Whisson

Wes­ley Col­lege stu­dent Austin Pear­son had a break­out sea­son last year.

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