I understand my parents wanting to protect me, but sooner or later they knew I would find out.

They kept me in the dark for as long as they could – obviously, they wanted my focus to be on racing, and because I relocated to Europe to race on my own when I was 16 they did not want me worrying too much.

But the simple reality is, when something like this happens, competing is the furthest thing from your mind.

When my Dad eventually did get around to telling me he had cancer, I reacted like any other person would in my position.

It was an incredibly emotional time for me. It was especially hard, because all I wanted to do was be around family, and that was not possible given I was committed to racing in Europe.

Zane Family Karting

The year before I found out about Dad, I had a handful of wins in the F4 British Championship and a series of podiums which led to me to race in the Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup Championship.

But of all of my greatest memories in the sport, have been when I was a little kid, racing at all those local meets on weekends, with my old man alongside me.

It’s tough. On one side, you know you have to be positive because Dad had been so positive since finding out. And it was important that we all continued to lift each other’s spirits through a positive mindset.

But that doesn’t make what we went through any less difficult.

Last year, I didn’t get to see Dad much, nor my brother, sister or Mum for that matter.

So being away from all my family definitely didn’t help.

I pushed on and continued doing well that year but I had a lot on my mind.

When he started treatment, it was hard to know what was going on, partially because I was being shielded from everyone.

In many ways, he was my best friend growing up.

Dad came across to watch one of my major races at the Nurburgring F1 Circuit last season, and when he arrived, he had lost almost 20 kilos and just looked completely different.

It was a bit of a shock to the system seeing that. That was when it really hit me.

Thankfully, Dad is recovering now and doing loads better. It is an absolute joy to know he is on the mend.

I suppose when you do see someone you love go through something like that, it really opens your eyes and makes you realise how much we take for granted.

Life threw one of the greatest curve balls at my Dad, and he just approached it with such a positive mind frame, and not for one second did he even let on how much it was affecting him, which I’m sure must have been incredibly hard.

Now that I’ve seen what Dad went through, if I ever have struggles in my racing, I can sit back and just think – “Okay, if Dad can get through that I can really push myself to greater heights in with what I’m doing.”

Now I am living back on the Gold Coast around my family, I am once again really enjoying my racing.

Going over to Europe was a way to try get down the Formula 1 route.

Zane Formula Renault 2017 1

Most drivers set that as their ultimate goal and I wanted to do likewise. As I always put it, you’re never going to know unless you try.

I went over there, had a crack but as all aspiring Formula 1 drivers would know, it is so incredibly hard to make it work over there.

You need a lot of financial backing, and without a healthy portfolio of sponsors it is incredibly difficult to break through the barriers.

Obviously there’s some exceptions; you’ll see some drivers get through off talent, but it’s starting to become more and more rare.

I am rapt to be back on home soil with Brad Jones Racing racing in the Super2 Series, it’s a really good team, I have some amazing sponsors and I’ve surrounded myself with a lot of good people.

I’ve dedicated my bonnet to the Australian & NZ Head & Neck Skin Cancer Society to thank them for the work they do and to spread their message. 

I’m almost halfway through the season and I’m looking forward to seeing what results arise as I get more of an understanding of the Supercar and to race at events like the iconic Bathurst 1000.

As for my own current circumstances, I couldn’t be more appreciative of my family and what they have done to help position my long-term racing career.

Having Dad back in my corner, has certainly helped with my preparation as well. He’s still backing me and helping me try to achieve my goals, which is making it as a professional racing driver – now in the Supercars circuit.