WHILE most graduating students on the Sunshine Coast will be heading off to Schoolies and then to university or into the workplace, Immanuel Lutheran College student Harri Jones will be racing off to something else.
The graduating year 12 student has juggled school and racing in the Australian Formula Ford Series (AFFS) this year and plans to focus on it full time next year.
The 17-year-old Buderim resident has even sacrificed his Schoolies celebrations so he is able to compete.
"I only competed in two of the six AFFS races this year due to Year 12 and am currently ranked 13th and placed sixth in my debut race," Harri said.
"In the Queensland Formula Ford Series I competed in four events placing second in three but study was my priority this year.
"Next year I'm taking a gap year to race in the 2017 AFFS as well as other events including Bathurst at Easter in a JPS Group A BMW M3 and a drive in the ex-ANZ #10 Sierra at the Phillip Island Classic in March.
"My last race for 2016 is at Phillip Island in a week's time so I won't be going to Schoolies."
According to Harri, the majority of Formula One stars began their top-level careers in Formula Ford but he's said that if he finds that racing cars isn't his thing then he's got another plan that still allows him to make a career in the industry.
"My longer term plan is to complete a dual maths and engineering degree at the University of Queensland and then a masters degree in aeronautical engineering as my dream is to work on a Formula One race team," he said.
But for now he's focused on the next event on November 25.
Harri was farewelled alongside his fellow classmates through a guard of honour in a Walk of Faith ceremony on Friday before they headed for the surf at Mooloolaba beach.
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