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CAMS Foundation Rising Star Lochie Hughes led home the field of rookies for the opening round of the 2018 CAMS Jayco Australian Formula 4 Championship at Symmons Plains.
With a best result of a fourth place finish in the weekend’s second race, it was crucial in securing a total of 28 championship points for the weekend to claim Burson Auto Parts Rookie of the Round honours.
Hughes was eager for an outright podium in the final race, but admitted a touch of over enthusiasm hurt his cause.
“It was a good, consistent, round. I made a big mistake in the last race which really cost me a lot, I thought I could challenge for a podium there in the last race,” Hughes said.
“I’m going to push on for the next round. I’ve got a lot of positives to take from here like Rookie of the Round, qualifying fourth, starting from pole in Race Two. So just got to take that to the next round and give it a good crack.”
Hughes, who is fifth overall, has a two-point gap to his nearest challenger of Zayd Tones.
It was a strong start too for debutant driver and team combination Jackson Walls and Patrizicorse, collecting 18 points for the weekend. Walls sits seventh overall and third in the rookie standings.
Thomas Smith collected 16 points to be eighth overall, leading his namesake Josh Smith’s 11 points.
Antonio Astuti, who made the decision to jump into Australian Formula 4 the week prior to Symmons Plains, gathered crucial five points to start his season.
The Australian Formula 4 Championship will next visit the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit, which has been a popular test venue for teams and drivers.
“The most exciting part? I like the big braking zones and the fast corners,” Hughes said.
“It’s a bit different to karting those fast corners, but it’s a cool track, I can’t wait to get there and try to get a good result.
“We have a lot of speed, but we just need to get some results and I need to learn to get some confidence in the car since this was my first race in a car. We’ll work together and give Phillip Island a good go.”
Round Two of the 2018 CAMS Jayco Australian Formula 4 Championship will take place on 1–3 June across the Shannons Nationals weekend at Phillip Island.
BURSON ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: AFTER ROUND ONE
1. LOCHIE HUGHES – TEAM BRM: 28
2. ZAYD TONES – TEAM BRM: 26
3. JACKSON WALLS – PATRIZICORSE: 18
4. THOMAS SMITH – TEAM BRM: 16
5. JOSH SMITH – TEAM BRM: 11
6. ANTONIO ASTUTI – ASTUTI MOTORSPORT: 5