Wayne Boyd has dismissed suggestions that his rookie campaign in the Cooper Tires British F3 International Series in 2009 will be a learning year, insisting that the championship is 'too expensive' for that and that he is firmly intent on 'doing the business' first time around.
The Ulster-born teenager swept all before him in British Formula Ford last season, triumphing in more than half of the races he entered and taking the prestigious Formula Ford Festival honours for good measure. Despite the inevitable acclimatisation that will be required to similarly compete at the front in British F3, Boyd is adamant that he is firmly focussed on replicating his 2008 form – beginning at Oulton Park this weekend.
“It definitely is a big step up, from a Formula Ford to an F3 car,” he acknowledged, speaking exclusively to Crash.net Radio
. “As everyone knows, the F3 car has more downforce – even if the Formula Ford would be quicker in a straight line! It's been quite hard to get used to, but over the last few tests we've been getting closer and closer, so I don't see why we can't go for the championship.”
The 18-year-old will be racing for T-Sport during his maiden campaign in the series, and he is confident that both the team and its Volkswagen engine – unproven on UK shores – will be up to the challenge of taking on British F3's big boys. He is also clearly eagerly anticipating a return to Spa-Francorchamps – the seventh round on the 2009 schedule towards the end of July – for the opportunity to reprise his double victory there from last year...
“T-Sport did a mega job last year in their first year in the 'A' class in the international championship with [Sergio] Pérez,” he enthused. “They're definitely a team that's very focussed and determined to do what they want to do, and I've settled in really well.
“Everyone in the team is really nice and has made me feel comfortable. At the start of the year it was quite hard; the two-month gap out of a race car sort of knocked my confidence a bit through the high-speed corners, but now we've had a few more tests under our belt we're definitely getting better. It's going well.
“The VW engine is going really well too. I only got the '09 engine for the test at Silverstone, but through the speed traps we're matching if not quicker than the other engines.
“It's unbelievable how close it's been in testing. At Silverstone the four Carlin boys were separated by something like four hundredths of a second, so one little mistake could cost you maybe five or six places on the grid. I can't wait to go back to Spa too! It was brilliant for us last year with two race wins, so I'm really looking forward to getting a spin in an F3 car around it.
“It's definitely going to be a close championship, but this is definitely not a learning year for me. It's too expensive to use it as a learning year. I might not get another chance at this, so I'm going for it in my first year, and hopefully I can do the business.”