Hart chases his American Indycar dream
PROMISING Canberra driver Mathew Hart will take his immense talents to the US as he chases his dream of becoming the latest Aussie to crack the lucrative Indycar circuit.
Hart has a firm grip on second spot in the Australian Formula Ford title after strong performances in the penultimate round of the championship at Bathurst this weekend.
He finished third overall for the round, with two seconds and a seventh placed-finish from the three races.
Victorian Jack Le Brocq recorded a clean sweep to wrap up the title and holds an unassailable 72-point lead in the standings from Hart, who is 51 points clear of nearest rival Garry Jacobson.
Hart will complete his Formula Ford commitments at the competition's eighth and final round in Winton next month before he turns his focus to a test drive for Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing in December.
It's the same path Australian drivers Will Power and Ryan Briscoe took on their way to breaking into the Indycar series.
''It's part of the Mazda road to Indy, so it's the first step,'' Hart said.
''If I end up being a part of that next year and winning every series, then hopefully I can be a part of the Indycar series in four or five years' time, which is awesome.''
Hart made a stunning Bathurst debut by posting the second-fastest time in qualifying for Friday's opening race.
That's where he crossed the finish line to leave him on the front row of the grid yesterday.
Hart was in the thick of the action until he pushed too hard in the rain and crashed into the back of his teammate Sam Power to slide down the standings, dropping as far back as 10th before fighting his way to seventh.
He then recovered for the afternoon's race to pick up his second podium finish of the weekend.
''It was a wet race and I was battling with my teammate, touched the white line and tapped the wall going backwards,'' Hart said.
''He said sorry and I said that was completely my fault because it was off the restart.
''Overall, we're really happy with the results on the weekend.''