Lachlan Mineeff has taken out the CHI Hard Charger Award in Round 6 of the Australian Formula Ford Championship at a windy Wakefield Park circuit on the weekend, after a storming recovery drive in the opening race.
The year 11 Oxley College student qualified eighth in an extremely tight session.
"The times in qualifying were ridiculously close; there was less than 0.1s from third down to eighth," Mineeff said.
Mineeff's chances of fighting to the front of the pack were severely set back at the start of Race 1, an off-track excursion dropping him to the rear of the 27-car field.
In a display of pure determination and fine race-craft, Mineeff regathered his composure and staged a stunning fightback, working his way back to 10th at the finish.
"I made a good start, and I went to the outside heading into Turn 1, but just went a bit too deep into the corner," Mineeff said.
"I went through the gravel trap and dropped to last, but I knew I had a fast car and I was determined to make up as many places as I could."
Mineeff's forward progress continued in Race 2; he climbed to fifth position. He was again running with the lead pack in Race 3, before an incident caused the race to be ended five laps early when he was running in sixth.
"In Races 2 and 3, the car was very quick and I was able to overtake people," Mineeff said.
"In Race 3, I was catching the leaders, but then the race was declared early, which was a shame."
Mineeff said the windy weather conditions made it a very challenging weekend for all the drivers.
"The wind was very strong all weekend - we were experiencing gusts of well over 70km/h," he said.
"Because Formula Fords are so light, the wind was really unsettling the car - in every corner, you didn't really know what to expect because it was changing so much."
Mineeff is fourth in the standings heading to the final round in three weeks.
"Despite the Race 1 setback, we scored a solid bundle of points this weekend, and we're still well in contention for a top-three result in the championship," Mineeff concluded.
The seventh and final round of the Australian Formula Ford Championship will be held at Phillip Island, 28-29 September.
Top 10 Points - After Round 6
- 1. Angelo Mouzouris - 257
- 2. Zac Soutar - 229
- 3. Tom Sargent - 201
- 4. Lachlan Mineeff - 198
- 5. Callum Hedge - 196
- 6. Cody Burcher - 184
- 7. Jay Hanson - 168
- 8. Courtney Prince - 149
- 9. Cody Donald - 95
- 10. Harrison Goodman - 90