#RacingForTom has been established to keep the memory alive of our team member Tom Hardyman.
Tom joined the team at the start of his first year of university in 2017, which was already a strong sign that he would be with the team for many years to come.
His willingness to learn and eagerness to take on challenges made it easy for senior team members to provide him support and help his growth in the team. As a result of this, Tom had the opportunity to be mentored by Jaden Partridge, a team alumni who now works at Red Bull Formula One Team. Jaden assisted Tom in developing his vehicle dynamics knowledge, specifically around modelling and simulation. With the knowledge and confidence gained, this led to Tom becoming the team’s Vehicle Dynamics Lead from 2018 through to 2020. Through this time, Tom worked on building the foundations for our much needed vehicle dynamics knowledge.
This included the development of a tyre model and bicycle model. Throughout Tom’s journey with the team, he was also fighting another battle of his own. Late in high school Tom was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma (bone cancer). For the majority of his time with the team, he kept this battle under wraps as he did not want to be treated differently or have different expectations. On the 22nd of April 2020, Tom’s time with us had sadly come to an end. This was a tough and testing period for all us of, especially because the lockdown restrictions meant the team could not be together. Being a part of QUT Motorsport means that team members learn an extensive range of skills, but more importantly it means you become part of a ‘family away from home’. The strong friendship that many of our team members formed with Tom meant that his loss was a difficult chapter on a personal level for many of us.
However, Tom never had any excuses and always had a positive attitude regardless of his circumstance. As a team, we ensured to follow this mentality and decided to dedicate our work in 2020 to remembering Tom. We named the car ‘Lando’ after Tom’s favourite Formula One driver, Lando Norris. We also followed the 2019 McLaren F1 livery for our own livery design as Tom owned an orange McLaren MP4-12C. We can say with confidence that Tom was an inspiration to helping us get through the many challenges thrown at us in 2020. Tom has forged a pathway for our vehicle dynamics team and has provided a great opportunity for growth to those team members he mentored during his final few months. His integral part in the team and great friendship will not be forgotten.