Venter continues championship climb at Sandown
Sydney teenager Jonathan Venter once again has shown his skill and determination in driving his Mygale to another strong result at Round 3 of the Victorian Formula Ford Championship which was completed at Sandown International Raceway.
In drenching conditions, the entire Formula Ford field were allowed to put new tyres on to ensure the best possible grip on the soaked track. Starting from 6th on the grid, Venter was somewhat nervous as it was his first wet race in Formula Ford at a track that is known to be notoriously difficult in these conditions. Jonathan stated, “I got off to a great start and managed to get into 2nd by the first corner from 6th, which was partly due to Brabham (Sonic Motor Racing) stalling off the line on pole.” A safety car period during the race caused the field to be bunched up again.
Unfortunately during the restart, the National series drivers took advantage of their experience and cannoned to the front few positions, seeing Jonathan return to 6th, which is still a stellar performance by the 15 year old. A 20 second penalty applied to a fellow driver saw Jonathan advance to 5th in the final results, seeing him start from a good position for race 3.
Venter said following the race, “we made some changes to improve the car and concentrate on where I was lacking compared to other drivers,” further adding, “going into race 3, I was a more confident with how the racing was going to be like, but still unsure of what to expect.”
With the final event being in dry conditions, Jonathan unfortunately got a disappointing start seeing him lose some positions going into turn 1. A determined effort by Venter saw him return to 4th position early into the race. Late in the final however, as the result was looking strong for the Anglo Junior driver, a safety car was deployed again bringing the field back to a controlled situation. Jonathan said, “with a 2 lap dash to the end, I tried to put as much pressure on Sam Power (Synergy Motorsport) in front of me which payed off when he out braked himself going into turn 8 on the last lap.” Despite grabbing 3rd position on the penultimate lap, a red flag brought the race to an end. A decision by race officials to revert to a countback procedure would see Jonathan forced back to 4th in the final result, unfortunately affecting his round position with the final race being worth triple points. On provisional series points, Jonathan has leapt to 2nd in the Victorian State Circuit Racing Championship, with one round remaining at Phillip Island in October.
In closing, Jonathan said, “overall, I finished 4th for the round which was an excellent achievement since there were 3 National drivers competing. I definitely learnt a lot this weekend, as I was 2.6 seconds off the front runners in Saturday morning practice, but we worked hard, didn't give up and had some good results in a tough field. Thanks to Tim Beale and the team from Anglo Motorsport for preparing a fantastic car.”