To say that youngster Ardie Jonic had more to contend with than just his competitors on track would be quite the understatement as he raced through the pain barrier, caused by a broken ankle, throughout last weekend’s third CAMS PAYCE Australian Formula 4 Championship round at his home track: Ipswich’s Queensland Raceway.
With surgery booked in for later this week to reattach a broken bone in his right foot, along with a sprained left foot, that was suffered in an off-track incident leading up to the weekend, the 15-year-old racer from Ipswich in Queensland was forced to effectively drive with his right foot only, which ironically is his broken foot as it was less painful than his sprained left foot.
Beginning his weekend off with an injury, it was always going to be difficult; however, Jonic, aboard the # 50 AGI Sports team car, performed admirably, initially setting the eighth quickest lap in the first practice session and improving to fifth in the second session in wet conditions.
During the one and only qualifying session of the weekend, Jonic placed 10th, setting the scene for the one race scheduled on Saturday, where, despite being uncomfortable with his foot injury, he recorded a ninth-place finish.
With the remaining two races held the next day on Sunday, it was a case of Jonic trying to be as competitive as possible, he managed to claim a pair of 10th-place finishes. Given the circumstances, Jonic was relatively happy with the weekend in what was just his second ever Formula 4 race meeting.
“With all of the challenges we had, the entire AGI Sports team put in a great effort all weekend and put a solid car under me every time I hit the track,” commented Jonic, who is the newly-crowned National Junior Sedan Champion on the speedway circuit.
“Despite the discomfort, I battled on and it was good to get some more vital track time under racing conditions under my belt.
“I must say big thanks for everyone’s support throughout the weekend, especially from the many people that follow me through my speedway racing, it means a lot and it pushed me even harder to go out there and do the best I could.”
Jonic’s next Formula 4 appearance is scheduled for Winton Motor Raceway in country Victoria for the fourth CAMS PAYCE Australian Formula 4 Championship round on August 31 through to September 2; however, with his recovery from the operation expected to be a total of five weeks, Jonic will be racing the clock to be fit.
Jonic would like to give special thanks to his nan and pop (Surelle and Lubo) for their support and for making chasing a career in motorsport a possibility for him.
To find out more about Jonic and his team, LIKE them on Facebook by searching Ardie Jonic Racing Team #50.