Launceston teenager Jock Goodyer was hardly a dark horse when he raced to victory in the Tasmanian Formula 500 title at Latrobe last weekend.
Competing in his first full season, the 16-year-old had won his past seven feature races leading into the weekend and remains unbeaten in his home state this campaign after Saturday’s win.
A new car and setup meant the former Riverside High student had reasons to be nervous going into his maiden state title race, but after third- and fourth-place finishes in qualifying, everything came together in the final.
Goodyer raced out to second spot after the first lap and by the 25th and final lap he had strung out a 10-second gap on second-place finisher Dylan Beveridge to claim the championship.
“We weren’t really sure how we were going to go in the Tasmanian title and we struggled slightly with setup throughout our heat races,” Goodyer said.
“But thankfully it all came together for us in the feature race.”
The result caps off what has been a spectacular season for the young gun, where he has travelled to the mainland several times.
Goodyer competed in both the Kings Challenge and national championship races at Mount Gambier’s Borderline Speedway, as well as the Grand Annual Classic at Warnambool’s Premier Speedway.
Crashes marred more than one of his interstate campaigns, but only served to create a more experienced competitor who has gone on to dominate his discipline of choice this season.
“When I joined the Formula 500s class late last season, I didn’t have too many expectations about what we would achieve, so to have won the Tasmanian title in my first full season is a great feeling.
“We’re definitely gaining more confidence with each lap, so we look forward to seeing what else we can achieve throughout the rest of the season.”
Goodyer said his parents, sisters and support team had been crucial to his success on the track this season.
“I also have to say a huge thanks to my crew, my family and our sponsors for making this a possibility.
“I definitely wouldn’t have been able to do it without them.”
The next Formula 500 race will take place on Saturday at Carrick Speedway, where competitors will race in the Beyond Blue charity dash.