One of the brightest sporting talents in the Highlands is set for his debut in national motor racing competition.
At just 14 years old, Burradoo resident Lachlan Mineeff will be the youngest driver on the grid in this weekend’s fifth round of the 2017 Australian Formula Ford Championship at Sydney Motorsport Park.
Mineef has previously had a lot of success in go-karts, but is now stepping up to motor racing.
Despite his youth, Mineeff already has a wealth of experience and top results in go-karts.
He has participated in some state-level Formula Ford events in preparation for his debut on the big stage.
Mineeff said switching from a Formula Ford to a go-kart had its challenges.
“The biggest thing to get used to in the Formula Ford compared to the go-kart is the braking; there’s a lot more force required,” Mineeff said.
“Also, I’ve had to learn how to change gears – there’s no gearbox in the kart I’ve been racing.”
The Formula Ford championship is one of the most hotly-contested national series in the country.
It is considered the primary breeding ground for young drivers seeking a professional motorsport career.
Indeed, the vast majority of drivers in the current Virgin Australia Supercars Championship field learned their craft in Formula Ford.
This included Australia’s two most recent Formula 1 drivers Daniel Ricciardo and Mark Webber.
Mineeff is hoping to use Formula Ford as a springboard to a career in Supercars.
He believes he can hold his own against the quality opposition he will be facing.
Mineeff said he was determined to get the best result possible on the weekend.
It’s definitely going to be competitive, and I’m realistic in my expectations. Qualifying will be very important because overtaking will be difficult.Burradoo racer Lachlan Mineeff
“It’s definitely going to be competitive, and I’m realistic in my expectations,” he said.
“Qualifying will be very important because overtaking will be difficult.
“If we could finish in the top half of the field, I would be happy.”
One thing Mineeff does not lack is off-track support.
His Southern Star Truck Centre Mygale Formula Ford is being prepared by the Canberra-based Colin Hill Engineering squad.
This guided Cameron Hill to the 2015 national Formula Ford title.
Mineeff said the support from Cameron and Colin had been valuable in his career so far.
“Colin does a superb job of engineering the car,”
Cameron has been a really good driver coach,” he said.
“He’s good at analysing the data and showing me where I can improve my performances.”
The fifth round of the Australian Formula Ford Championship consists of qualifying, race one, race two and race three. Race one will be held on Saturday, September 16 and races two and three will be held on Sunday, September 17.