Asher JohnstonWhen Adelaide’s Asher Johnston competed in last year’s Victorian State Formula Vee Championship, The Phillip Island Grand Prix circuit was the scene of some of the closest racing in the young drivers’ career.

So when the 19-year-old from Glenelg returned to the 4.46km circuit two hours South East of Melbourne for the fifth round of the Victorian State Formula Ford 1600 championship last weekend he knew that it would be a tough, competitive outing.

What he didn’t know was that following the weekend he would be able to call himself a Formula Ford round winner.

However – that’s exactly what happened; Johnston taking his #18 G-Force Racing Mygale Formula Ford to a stunning round win – his first since joining the competitive ranks of Victorian State Formula Ford at the start of the year.

After some wet-weather testing Friday, the team struggled with wet-weather tyre choice and setup for the Qualifying session the following day, Johnston placing the car ninth on the grid after a tough session.

Johnston then went on the attack for the opening race, making an inspired charge though the field to pick off cars throughout the six-lap duration. Closing on fellow Mygale driver Glen Wood on the final lap, Johnston drew alongside on the start finish straight to beat him to the line for third place in what was a stunning comeback.

The second race again featured a battle between Johnston and Wood, the South Australian driver once again getting the upper hand with a bold pass around the outside of the super fast turn one with a lap to go that secured second place after six laps.

Knowing he had the car speed to run with race winner Taz Douglas, Johnston made the best start of his brief Formula Ford Career to run with the leader towards turn one.

What followed was a high speed game of chess between the two leading competitors, Johnston realizing that if they worked together they would maintain a comfortable buffer over the chasing pack.

After swapping positions throughout the race, the pair were locked in combat for the final lap before Johnston got a strong run onto the high-speed Gardner straight on the final lap of the race.

With two wheels off the circuit, Johnston drove to a thrilling .009-second race victory over the championship leader to give himself his very first Formula Ford round win since joining the class at the start of the season.

A delighted Johnston reveled in the success – his first major victory since clinching last years Victorian Formula Vee title.

“I went to the inside coming out of turn 1 – we were side by side and I had 2 wheels on the dirt as we crossed the line,” Johnston explained of the thrilling final race.

“I actually thought Taz got me, and speaking with him after he wasn’t sure who had it, but the time sheet said I got it by .0009 sec and that gave me the round win!”

“The weekend started off pretty average because we weren’t very fast at all in practice but we pulled it off in the end. The G-Force / Asher Johnston Racing guys are awesome and did a sensational job, this one is for them! We came into this season hoping to run near the front and gain experience, so to win like this is fantastic.

“I have to thank the ongoing support of the team’s sponsors and supporters, including CARTEK, Duplex IT, Wayne Richards Auto and RTM – without them we wouldn’t be here,” Johnston added.

G-Force Mygale team owner Greg Woodrow was almost as excited as his young protégé.

“Asher has performed better than expectations,” said Woodrow

“We had hoped that Asher would show some form in his first year but to have pole positions, and now round wins is fantastic!

“With one round to go it appears that Asher and G-Force Mygale will continue to show dominance in Formula Ford” he said.

The final round of the Victorian State Formula Ford 1600cc Championship will also be held at Phillip Island – as part of the annual Island Magic festival.

For more information about Formula Ford’s latest race and round winner, head to www.asherjohnston.com.au