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Hayden Cooper - 2012 Forpark Australia Scholarship winner   
Story By: F3 Media Release  Date: 26/9/2012 at 12:09:28 PM 
Hayden Cooper has won the Formula 3 Management Forpark Australia Scholarship for 2012/13.

Cooper will receive $50,000 of funding towards an outright attack on the CAMS Gold Star and F3 Australian Drivers Championship in 2013.

Cooper, 17-years-old from Brisbane, was selected by a panel of peers from within the industry who voted on the driver that best represents potential for ongoing success; this includes raw performance, but also takes into account media skills, attitude, engineering feedback and other attributes critical to having a successful career in the sport.

Cooper won this years’ Forpark Australia F3 National class, driving for BF Racing. It was his first year of Australian Formula 3 after winning the 2011 Queensland Formula Ford Championship.

Highlights of Cooper’s season included a stunning outright victory in Sunday’s second race (of three) in Round 7 of the championship at Phillip Island.

In soaking wet conditions, Cooper won by nearly 50 seconds beating series champions James Winslow and Chris Gilmour in the process.

He was just the second ever driver to win a race outright driving an older model car – only Tim Macrow (2010, 2011) and Barton Mawer (2003) have achieved this feat.

It was also the first outright win for BF Racing in Australian Formula 3.

He finished fourth outright at the Clipsal 500 and Queensland Raceway and fifth on the series’ debut at Bathurst, in April.

He won his class on eight occasions (of 21) this year against tough competition including team-mate Ben Gersekowski, Adrian Cottrell, Lockie Marshall, Jon Collins and more racing in the F304-only category.

Cooper is also the second-youngest winner of a Formula 3 race, behind Mitch Evans (16).

Cooper will receive $50,000 towards funding his 2013 season in Australian Formula 3 - a major contribution to a racing budget – thanks to Forpark Australia and Formula 3 Management.

Steel Guiliana was awarded the scholarship in 2011 and used it to great effect, finishing third in this year’s F3ADC, behind two champions in James Winslow and Chris Gilmour.

“It is an amazing honour to be awarded the Scholarship,” Cooper said.

“To know that enough people think highly enough of me and my season is an amazing feeling and one that’s going to take a while to sink in. It has been a great year; It took a while to feel comfortable in the car but I’ve learned so much and grown more as driver this year than ever before.

“I can’t say enough about the effort my family and Brett Francis and the BF Racing team have put into the season. It’s mainly thanks to them that we have achieved what we did.

“We are finding budget for next season but this will be a massive help – it is a massive thing for someone without massive funding like me and my family and will be huge help in attracting further support so we can win a championship. Forpark Australia are fantastic supporters of Formula 3 and I want to thank them for their support and for making this possible.

“I can’t wait to come back next year and try to challenge for an outright championship.”
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