Australian Driver Tommy Smith Lapping Up Teretonga Park
The person who has done the most laps around Teretonga this year is probably Australian driver Tommy Smith.
Smith tested his Australian spec Duratec Formula Ford at the circuit over the Christmas/New Year period before staying on to contest a couple of rounds of the NZF1600 Championship in an NZ spec car leased from Evolution Motorsport in which he acquitted himself very well, including a third placing.
Since then Tommy has been back in Australia where he has an ambitious schedule this year contesting both Formula Ford and F4. His first FF round had it’s share of drama and last weekend he competed in the first round of the Australian F4 Championship at Symmons Plains in Tasmania. He worked his way up the very competitive field over the course of the weekend ending the weekend with a fifth placing from ninth on the grid.
Now he is back at Teretonga and in the middle of four days testing. This time the aim is to get mileage in a wings and slicks car to gain experience for the F4 Championship.
To do this he is testing in a 2002 Formula BMW chassis.
Practice is restricted to specific test times in Australia for the F4 cars so Tommy says the Formula BMW car is the “closest thing” that he can test in. “We have fitted the same tyres we use in F4 – Hankook’s and the BMW has a sequential box whereas the F4 has paddle shift but it is the best thing to get wings and slicks mileage.”
Tommy’s engineer from F4, Stephen Giles, former Formula 1 mechanic and owner of Giles Motorsport which operates a team in the Castrol Toyota Racing Series each year is working with Tommy while at Teretonga while Rick and Jordan Michels of Evolution Motorsport are helping to run the car.
It is entirely possible we will see Tommy back again to carry out more testing in the future as Teretonga proves to be an affordable and easily accessible option for Australians to carry out testing.
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