The 2018 Australian Formula Ford Championship started on a high for Mildura-based rookie, Hamish Ribarits.

Last year, Ribarits showed strong pace, finishing third in the Victorian Formula Ford Series behind Liam McLellan and Cooper Murray. A step up to National competition this year has suited him well, setting a lap record and establishing himself as the benchmark Rookie after Round 1.

Ribarits reset the lap record in Race 1 at Winton Motor Raceway with a blistering 1:25:35, poaching it from 2017 Australian Formula Ford Champion Max Vidau.

Hamish was modest about setting a new lap record: “I believe there is always room for improvement. Even though that was a really good lap time, we would still be able to sit down, analyse the data and pin point small areas where there is still time to be made”.

Ribarits’ ultimate goal for his 2018 - like many of his peers - is to emulate his former team mate, Max Vidau, and win the title, along with a ticket which could take him all the way to North America and a real chance at an Indycar career.

Ribarits will be looking to close the gap to his team mate, Hunter McElrea. McElrea is currently leading the 2018 Championship, 15 points clear of Ribarits. Behind the Sonic Motor Racing duo is a full field of quality drivers looking to win races and establish themselves as future racing stars.

Round 2 of the 2018 Australian Formula Ford Championship will be held at Queensland Raceway on April 20-22.