NATIONAL CLASS CHAMP TWEEDIE GETS OVERSEAS F3 OPPORTUNITIES FOR 2010 THE OLD AUSTRALIAN sporting tradition of punching above ones weight has been well demonstrated by 21-year-old Tom Tweedie, the 2009 Formula 3 Australian Drivers Championship ...
NATIONAL CLASS CHAMP TWEEDIE GETS OVERSEAS F3 OPPORTUNITIES FOR 2010
THE OLD AUSTRALIAN sporting tradition of punching above ones weight has been well demonstrated by 21-year-old Tom Tweedie, the 2009 Formula 3 Australian Drivers Championship National Class winner - and now it's begun to pay off.
Tweedie recently wrapped up the F3 National Class - for older model 2004-spec Dallara's - with two rounds to spare but also scored several outright podium finishes against the newer, faster, Gold Star cars in the process.
These performances have created interest from several leading international F3 teams, particularly Team West-Tec who have invited him to two full days of testing at the Rockingham circuit in the English Midlands.
Tweedie will drive one of the teams latest Dallara's on October 12-13, with full team supervision.
The Sydney driver will jet out to the UK next week in a bid to kick off his International career with the successful team that contests cars in both the British and Spanish-based F3 European Open series.
Tom will also join Team West-Tec in a round of the F3 Open Series at Jerez, in Spain, before returning to Australia to contest the final round of the 2009 Formula 3 Australian Drivers' Championship at Sandown Park in his Battery World Dallara.
"It will be a great experience running with one of Britain's most successful F3 teams at their home track, before heading off to Jerez," Tweedie said.
"It will be a ‘ground floor' experience for me. I'll be getting to know the team and how they operate and I intend to come away from it with some good friendships and a lot of knowledge."
As part of the test, Tweedie will need to adapt to the teams later-specification Formula 3 chassis which offers more grip and - potentially - more power than his existing F304 Dallara.
"I'm told the difference in downforce is quite noticeable," he said.
"I'm looking forward to experiencing that. I'll also need to adapt to the different engine - which may be a little stronger than mine - and also to a different tyre supplier."
"The team has also sent me some excellent data to help me analyse and learn the circuit which will be a big help."
Whilst taking every opportunity into account, Tweedie has not firmed on plans for the 2010 season and said that both the European F3 and Formula 3 Australian Drivers Championship both remained his firm options.
"I'm sure our sponsors Battery World would be keen to see me race a F307 Dallara in the 2010 Formula 3 Australian Drivers' Championship, although they have supported our decision to test in the UK," Tweedie said.
"Our plans also depend on whether Dad can sell a couple of his valuable classic racing cars and my F304 Dallara to help fund my future plans!
"Without my year in the Formula 3 Australian Drivers' Championship however none of this would have been possible, so thanks to everyone who has supported me and I won't let them down."
The final round of the 2009 Formula 3 Australian Drivers' Championship will be contested at Sandown Park Raceway November 27 - 29.