Young American driver Spike Kohlbecker competed here in the 2018/19 NZ F1600 Championship driving the ex Josh Bethune Mygale with Christchurch based Motorsport Solutions. He’s now in the UK having joined Cliff Dempsey Racing to compete in the BRSCC Avon Tyres National FF1600 Championship.
Over the weekend Kohlbecker won his first race at Snetterton.
“Got my first win today after finishing P2 yesterday – also set fast lap of the race,” he said after the racing. “This Ray chassis prepped by the Cliff Dempsey Racing Team is rolling! I know there are lots of races ahead but it’s never too early to thank the many people that have made this possible. Thank You!”
No doubt he is thankful for the time he had in NZ over the summer and all he learnt.
Here’s the race report from the ff1600website.com by Jake Williams-Smith. Kohlbecker now leads the overall championship by eight points.
Kohlbecker gets maiden National FF1600 win in shortened race
American rookie Spike Kohlbecker picked up his maiden win in the Avon Tyres National Formula Ford 1600 Championship in a shortened second race at Snetterton.
Kohlbecker fought off Ross Martin and Neil Maclennan in a five-minute dash for the flag after several safety cars and then a red flag shortened the race.
Race two began with drama before the cars even moved off the line with race one winner Rory Smith not able to take his pole position and having to start from the pits.
It wasn’t long into the first racing lap when a safety car neutralised the field to recover the B-M Racing car of Nicole Woods, the rookie coming to a stop on the Bentley straight.
The restart didn’t last much longer in comparison as FF1600 rookie and F1 Esports champion Brendon Leigh span into the barriers, which brought out the red flags.
That meant the race was cut to just five minutes due to the time lost to recover Leigh’s car and one of the two Oldfield Motorsport cars that had also come to a halt.
Kohlbecker was set to make amends for missing out on the win in race one but Martin and Maclennan kept close company, so much so that Team Dolan driver Martin was able to squeeze past into Brundle.
The CDR man wouldn’t be denied, forcing Martin to outbrake himself into the turn two hairpin allowing the American to get back through.
A recovering Rory Smith’s day came to a premature end after tagging the back of Morgan Quinn coming onto the main straight, taking out both drivers in the process.
With the run to the line still covered by yellow flags, Martin couldn’t get past Kohlbecker and he settled for second place, with Maclennan completing the podium in third.
James Clarke made a miraculous recovery from 19th to finish fourth, while Max Marzorati took the Clubman class win in eighth place.
1 Kohlbecker 61 2 Martin 53 3 Maclennan 46 4 Macpherson 38 5 Sharp 37 6 Smith 34 7 Browne 30 8 Clarke 24 9 Quinn 17 10 Huntley 15