It’s a tough world out there in the junior formulae. If you don’t go for it with all your might and determination, you risk losing everything you’ve worked for. Being a racing driver requires a lot of self-confidence and faith in your abilities. Cameron Twynham is one of the many young drivers trying to make their way up the racing ladder. He is doing all the right things so far, and has already enjoyed success in his racing season this year. This season, he makes the step up to Formula 3 Open with team West-Tec F3. His competitors should be worried, as he has already made a name for himself in single seaters. This weekend, I got the opportunity to talk to him about himself, his racing, and what the next five years could hold for him.
1. I’d like to start talking about where you started. How did you get into racing? Who was your biggest inspiration?
When I lived in France we went on holiday. Where we were staying was a karting track. I was only 4 and dad had to persuade them to let me have a go but I really enjoyed it. It wasn’t until I was around 13 that I started racing properly in karts.
My biggest inspiration is Lewis Hamilton.
2. How difficult was the transition from karts to cars? What was the hardest thing to cope with?
Personally, I don’t think there is any similarity between karts and cars other than the lines on some corners, so the transition was more like starting all over rather than progressing. I enjoy karting but I love racing cars. The hardest thing to cope with was qualifying and starts because I don’t drive a car, and never used a clutch before.
3. Can you tell us a little about the series you will be racing in this season? Where will you be going on the calendar?
The series I’m in is called the Formula 3 European Open. It has two classes of F3 car: the F308 and the F312. I will be racing on tracks such as Nurburgring, Spa, Silverstone, Barcelona, Portimao, Jerez, Paul Ricard and Monza.
4. You’ve already had a great start to the season with a podium at Paul Ricard in France. How much of a confidence boost is that before the real championship starts in late April?
It is a huge confidence boost heading into the main series, as I now know that in the same field of drivers I will be able to improve on that finish and get an even better finish next time
5. You will be racing in the Copa class in Formula 3 this season. How does this class differ from the A class in the series?
The Copa class in F3 uses the 2008 car. It really only differs in the bodywork, as the two cars have the same engines and the same tyres. The F312 car is more efficient and therefore depending on the track, it is between 0.5 seconds to 1 second faster than the F308 car.
6. What are your aspirations for next season? Is it too early to think about that yet?
My intention is to spend a couple of years in F3, however, things change and oppurtunities arise so nothing will really be decided until the end of this season.
7. How much was sponsorship a part of your transition from karts to cars? Do you feel it is too big an aspect of racing these days?
I have a commercial team that my father deals with. I focus on driving and will drive whatever they can provide the budget for. I think there is a lot of complaining from those who don’t go out there and try to find sponsorship. People who are waiting to be picked up by a team is such a rarity these days. You need to be mobile and get out and look for it [sponsorship].
8. What has been your biggest racing achievement so far?
Definitely getting on the podium of my first ever F3 race. There are not many rookies who can say they were on the podium of their first ever race in an F3 championship, especially with the competition that I face in this series.
9. Have you been following Formula One this season? If so, what do you make of it so far?
I think that the F1 this year is brilliant; already the best racing I have seen in F1 for many years. There have been so many new drivers brought into the sport this year and I think it has revived it in a way.
10. What is your favorite track to race on and why?
My favourite track so far has been Paul Ricard because it is where I got my first F3 Podium as a rookie.
11. Finally, where do you see yourself in five years’ time?
If I didn’t see myself in 5 years standing on the top step of a Formula 1 podium holding the World Championship trophy, I would be worried.
You can follow Cameron on twitter at @CameronTwynham