Ricky Capo has been behind a steering wheel since he could walk. A successful karting career has led him towards the Australian Formula 3 Championship.
Ricky began his Formula 3 career in 2014 year with a Dallara F307. For his second season he has upgraded to the newer Dallara F311, in which he took his debut win at Sandown’s first round. Capo went on to nudge three race wins over the course of the meeting.
In short, Ricky is on the classic path to his dream of reaching the pinnacle of his chosen sport – a Formula 1 drive.
Trailing Throttle spoke to Ricky this week to find out what drives him, so to speak, and what his plans are for the future.
“I have wanted to race Formula 1 my whole life. It was the first form of motorsport I was introduced to and I continue to idolise the drivers and the engineers involved”
So Ricky, how did you get started in racing?
My father, Frank, introduced me to motorsport at a very young age. He owns a motorsport engineering company so my childhood was surrounded by racing. He bought me a go-kart for my seventh birthday and I began competing shortly afterwards in numerous go-karting categories including KZ until I was 17 years old, when I began competing in Formula 3.
Go-karts to Formula 3 is a common path to Formula 1. Is that the dream?
I have wanted to race Formula 1 my whole life. It was the first form of motorsport I was introduced to and I continue to idolise the drivers and the engineers involved. Obviously it is the most difficult motorsport category to reach but me and my family will do our absolute best to make this dream possible.
So you’ve competed for two years in Formula 3, what was the hardest challenge transitioning from karts to F3?
Understanding aerodynamics was the hardest transition from go-karting to Formula 3. Formula 3 has a front and rear wing meaning I can drive through corners at very high speeds. Thankfully I had a day to test the Formula 3 and become confident with the downforce before my debut at the Clipsal 500, where I qualified on the front row of the grid.
This year you’re driving the Dallara F311. How do you find it compares to the Dallara F307 you drove last year?
The F311 has a lot more grip than the F307.
You’ve notched up four wins this year with five times more podium finishes so far. What’s helped you most?
My team continues to set up the car very well and I feel my driving skills have improved a lot. I am stronger physically and mentally than I was in 2014.
What track do you most look forward to racing on?
The Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit is my favourite track in Australia. It is the only track Formula 3 races at twice in 2015 – round two and round six. The track is so fast and flowing while also having heavy braking corners so you can really experience the aerodynamics of a Formula 3. It is also an amazing track for racing; at round two I finished second in a race by only 0.1sec! Round six is approaching and I expect strong results.
Who or what inspires you?
I always aim to do my best in motorsport because it is something I love and I want to make it a career. My father is a big inspiration along with Ayrton Senna who remains my favourite racing driver.
What do you do outside of racing?
I study Screen and Media at Swinburne University of Technology and I spend a lot of time training. I go to the gym, I run and I do Krav Maga which I started after getting my black belt in Karate. To relax I write, read, play piano, listen to music and spend time with friends!
What road car do you drive?
Suzuki Swift Sport!
Good choice! So what’s next for you and your team?
We are currently making a plan for 2016. I hope to compete in Europe as I follow my ambition to race in Formula 1. Our only problem is budget so we are trying to find as many sponsors as possible for next year.
Thanks for your time Ricky, and we wish you the best of luck for the future.
You’re welcome. Thank you for having me!
Ricky would also like to say a big thank you to Jani-King, Modena Engineering, Bearing Logistics, Brisk Spark Plugs and Mount Eliza Family Fitness for all of their support!