Cameron Shields studying hard for final test of the season
MOTORSPORT: Like most high school students, Cameron Shields has his fair share of homework to do at the end of each day.
But the teenager's schedule differs a little to that of his classmates as he studies for the final round of the 2017 CAMS Jayco Australian Formula 4 Championship on the Gold Coast this weekend.
"I've never been to the Gold Coast before. It's a street circuit so track time is extremely limited and I've never had the opportunity to race there before," Shields said.
He has been preparing as best he can without being able to get out onto the real thing, racking up around 200 laps of the circuit on simulators.
"It's not like playing a school sport like footy, you can't go out in the backyard and drive your race car around," he said.
The Withcott driver is second in the overall standings and sits 52 points behind leader Nick Rowe.
He knows it is going to take a near-perfect effort to edge his more experienced rival into first place.
"It's going to be difficult to take out the championship; there is a bit of points lead, but mathematically it still is possible," he said.
"At this stage I'm certainly going to have to push to win every race and also wish that (Rowe) has a bit of bad luck as well to make sure it happens.
"I'm going to do everything in my power to hopefully take that championship out."
The 16-year-old admits it can be difficult to go from racing at top speeds in front of crowds of hundreds of thousands of people to an English lesson on a Monday morning alongside his mates at Toowoomba Grammar School.
"To go from that kind of level and then you've got to bring it back a step into the student life at school, that's something I've had to learn how to juggle," he said.
"I certainly think that is very important to be able to do that successfully.
"At this stage the year has gone incredible quickly. It certainly has been a roller-coaster ride, a lot of wins and a fair few moments where luck hasn't quite gone my way."