Jayden Hamilton is only 16 years old but is quickly climbing the ranks in the motor racing industry. Starting out in karts in 2019, the year 11 student from Mornington recently competed in his first Australian Formula Open race in a F4 car, placing third, and has been courted for racing in the United States and Europe.

“It all started with my dad signing me up to a young driver program at Le Mans go karting in Melbourne,” said Jayden. “Then covid came along, and it got delayed. Once 2022 hit, I was back into it and would practice anytime I could.”

And when Jayden wasn’t physically in a kart, he’d be practicing on a simulator. “The racing sim is very useful. You can set it to the track you are racing on next, let’s say for example Sandown. You can gain familiarity with the track and practice race lines, and when to brake and accelerate.”

Jayden’s father, Michael, is equally enthusiastic about his son’s passion. “His commitment and dedication are something to be admired,” said Michael. “He is practicing three times a week, getting coached by professional drivers, and really putting in the effort required.”

Of course, school is still the priority, and the year 11 student from Peninsula Grammar aspires to study engineering. “Of course, school comes first,” said Michael. “But if Jayden does peruse engineering it will only assist him in getting onto driving teams in the future. That extra level of technical knowledge will be invaluable.” “It is a testament to him that he is really putting in the time to get his work-life balance right.”

“Kart racing is one thing, but the opportunity to race a F4 at Sandown is a whole different level.”

Jayden was lucky enough to be taken under the wing of professional driver and team owner Tim Macrow, the owner of Tim Macrow Racing. “This was a huge opportunity for me,” said Jayden. “Kart racing is one thing, but the opportunity to race a F4 at Sandown is a whole different level.”

Jayden is already working to give back to the industry too, being part of a new program helping kids navigate the motorsport industry and progress from racing karts to racing cars. “Kart racing can be expensive, let alone cars which is a totally different level again,” said Jayden.

“The new program we are working on with Melbourne Karting Centre will provide opportunities that reduce the costs for young people to get behind a wheel.”
“Also, to provide the mental training, as well as physical, to be able to progress from karts to cars.”

And what of the future? Jayden is hoping to continue working with Tim Macrow Racing, and there is talk of him competing with Tim in the South-East Asian tour in Australia’s off season at the end of the year with a goal of heading to the United States after that. There has also been an offer to head to Europe this year, but this has been declined for the time being.

“The plan is to be a professional driver. Right now, I’m happy and grateful for the opportunities I have been given,” said Jayden. “I want to work hard, build my skills, but also give back at the same time, and see where that takes me.”

Peninsula Essence – April 2024