With hundreds of drivers hitting the racetracks around Australia last weekend there was a standout performance from a driver that many may not have heard of.
This young driver went head to head with seasoned performers and his star shone so brightly that he was the talk of the track.
This mild mannered sixteen year old driver has a focus reminiscent of a young Mark Webber. His goal is similar, and if his performance in the opening round of the Australian Formula Ford Series is anything to go by, he is destined for great a future in motor racing.
Jayden Ojeda is his name and his performance at Sandown last weekend was one that most were not expecting, even his own competitors.
The story is the same as many young drivers. Jayden started in karts where he won many titles before progressing to the Formula Ford category in 2015. His story begins to differ when you look at his remarkable performance in what was only his second national level Formula Ford race.
Amongst the throng of up and coming young drivers, Jayden rose to the occasion in the opening round of the Australian Formula Ford Series at Sandown with a strong second place finish behind superstar driver Leanne Tander.
In the wet qualifying session, Jayden top the times by 0.7 second ahead of his nearest rival, a stella performance on a track that is renowned to be a challenge when damp.
After a poor start off pole, Jayden was forced to chase down the fast charging Leanne Tander who used every inch of her experience to stay in front. The end result was a second place for Jayden with a fastest lap for the race, a time just .35 seconds off the lap record set by Chaz Mostert in 2009.
Starting on the front row of the grid for race 2, Ojeda continued his battle with Tander with many lead changes throughout the race but this time Jayden edged in front to win the race by .185 of a second, his first race win at National level.
Race 3 brought challenges that many his age would struggle to manage but Jayden rose to the occasion, showing the signs of a true champion. Starting on the front row of the grid, Jayden’s clutch began to overheat restricting his gear selection. The start was postponed but for safety reasons Jayden was forced to drive on to try and rectify the situation rendering him a rear of grid starter.
Fortunately, Jayden’s Borland Racing Developments prepared Spectrum had sorted itself out allowing him to charge through the field, making strong ground on the front pack. In a drive that had most on the edge of their seat, Ojeda caught the leading pack with a lap to go and began to dice for a podium position against Tander and Adrian Lazzaro. Rounding the last turn, the race for the win was anyone’s but it was the cool head and experience of Leanne Tander that took the win with Jayden beating Lazzaro for second place.
From last to second place, the records show that Jayden passed 16 cars to finish .6838 behind the winner, a performance reserved for only the greats.
“I was determined to move up the field after having to start at the rear of the grid so quickly settled into moving through the field. If I had one more lap I felt that I had the pace to take the lead but that was not the case so the second behind Leanne was still a highlight in my career. She is a great competitor, one I hope to learn from during the year.”, said Ojeda.
Currently sitting in second place in the National Formula Ford Series, Jayden Ojeda is a name to keep an eye out for in 2016.
In 2016 Jayden is supported by Borland Racing Developments, Raceworks, VHT, SMS Diesel Spares, Pure Traveller, OE Germany, FEBI, Valley Fitness, APC Logistics, SAKURA Filters D-BEST and AMC Cylinder Heads.