Australian Formula Ford Series leader Jimmy Piszcyk's family has explained his decision to miss the final round and test a Formula 4 car overseas.
The South Australian currently leads the Formula Ford point standings by 11 points heading into the season finale.
It is understood that the youngster has aspirations to get to Formula 1 and opportunities have arisen that may set him on that path.
In a statement, Piszcyk's family credited his experience in Formula Ford as opening the door to this opportunity.
“Jim has made the decision to pursue a chance to race open-wheelers in Europe, with the downside being he is unable to complete his season at home,” the statement read.
“The opportunities open to Jim now are attributable to the experience he gained while racing in the Australian Formula Ford Series.
“The Formula Ford series has proven to be a highly competitive series, with a high-quality field and extremely close racing.
“This environment, paired with the professionalism and hard work of the CHE Racing team, has fostered the development of Jim as a driver and competitor.
“It's tough to win an Australian Formula Ford Series, so it's a difficult decision to forfeit the chance to fight for the title.
“In this respect, both Formula Ford and CHE Racing have been incredibly successful in developing a young driver to the point where this is possible.”
“Jim would like to thank CHE Racing for all their hard work and effort during the year.
“It is disappointing to not be able to close out the season for the team, who worked tirelessly to get Jim to this position.”
Category Manager Iccy Harrington acknowledged Piszcyk's decision in a statement.
“While disappointed Jimmy won't be at our final round this weekend to defend his lead in the series, Formula Ford Australia is extremely excited for Jimmy to be afforded the opportunity of this test, and we commend Jimmy and his family for looking ahead into a possible future for his driving career in that category,” Harrington said.
“I really wish Jimmy all the best and his pursuits overseas.
“I take great pleasure in seeing these kids come into the category, watching them develop, and Jimmy has developed very quickly with the help of the Hill family.
“I love seeing where they go from Formula Ford and I like seeing people take on the big challenge as well and try to go international.”
Three drivers remain in contention for the title including Valentino Astuti, Cameron McLeod, and Winston Smith.
“The fight for the title is still open, it's by no means settled as yet,” Harrington added.
“There's still three contenders that can take it out, so it is still going to be exciting.”