Marr holds NZ Formula Ford lead despite Scott’s comeback

| Photographer Credit: Euan Cameron Photography

Whanganui’s Aaron Marr has held his lead in the New Zealand Formula Ford Championship despite his rival Michael Scott winning two of the three races held at the Mike Pero Motorsport Park in Christchurch over the weekend.

The second round of the national series also doubled as the fourth round of the South Island Formula Ford (SIFF) Championship which saw a total of 23 cars take to the grid.

Australian based Kiwi Mitchell Maddren won the SIFF round with a consistent performance all weekend. He has now closed the gap to leader Hunter McElrea to just 12 points. Fifteen year old McElrea won the first two races in the SIFF championship but a broken steering arm saw him miss out on points in the final race of the day. Fortunately for McElrea this happened on the warm up lap when his race came to an abrupt halt safely in the kitty litter.

“It’s been a great weekend,” commented Maddren. “We had some engine problems at the last round but seemed to have ironed them out. It’s been a lot of fun and l look forward to Teretonga next weekend as it’s a fast flowing track which I really enjoy,”

Wet conditions affected all drivers on both Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning. In the first 10 lapper, Scott, who qualified fastest, had to combat a throttle which was stuck on full and physically had to turn the ignition off before heading into a corner. Initially dropping back to fifth he was able to stay close to the leaders and eventually passed Maddren on the line to salvage fourth place overall. Drive of the day went to James Webb who drove from 13th through to finishing third. Further back in the pack an entertaining battle endued between Trevor Stiles, Tim Miles, Dyson Freeman, Gary Lovie, Anna Collins, Grant Campbell and Ethan Anderson. One of many mid-pack battles that would continue throughout the weekend.

Michael Scott took control of a second wet 10 lap race on Sunday morning. After too much wheel spin off the start line dropped him to fourth he was able to take back the lead by the end of the first lap.

“It was a terrible start,” commented Scott. “It just kept on wheel spinning but I was able to get up to second by turn two and went around Aaron (Marr) through the carousel. We had a great car today which enabled me to control the race. The biggest problem was my visor kept fogging up.”

Marr was able to just hold second from a hard charging Webb. “We didn’t have the grip in that race,” commented Marr. “By the end of the race the car was going ‘off’ and was getting hard to control.”

In the final 12 lap race Marr took the lead when Scott again experienced too much wheel spin off the line. He was followed closely by Webb and Scott. Just before half way Scott had retaken the lead and the three put a gap on the field. Behind them Maddren held a steady fourth with Anderson and Andy McElrea battling for fifth until the latter pitted with an overheating issue. Dyson Freeman eventually grabbed fifth from Anderson with Robert Toshach seventh. Grant Campbell, Tim Miles and Jordan Michels fought for most of the race for 8th, 9th and 10th, finishing in that order.

“I’m stoked to get two wins,” commented Scott. “We are now confident of the car’s speed. In the third race we had a wet set up so started to drop back towards Aaron (Marr) as the circuit continued to dry.”

Hunter McElrea continues to lead the SIFF championship overall as well as Class 2 with rookie Anna Collins second.

“We’ve had some great races,” said Collins. “We’ve had more wet races than dry so have got some great confidence and really enjoying them.”

Maddren is now level on points with Anderson in Class 1 while in Class 3 Cory Hodges continues to lead from Roger McKenzie.

The fifth round of the SIFF takes place this coming weekend at the Teretonga circuit in Invercargill which also doubles as the third round of the national championship.

South Island Formula Ford Championship round 4/6

1 Hunter McElrea 149
2 Mitchell Maddren 137
3 Ethan Anderson 133
4 Robert Toshach 117
5 Jordan Michels 116

Class 1
1 Mitchell Maddren 172
2 Ethan Anderson 172
3 Robert Toshach 157

Class 2
1 Hunter McElrea 185
2 Anna Collins 142
3 Dyson Freeman 125

Class 3

1 Corey Hodges 200
2 Roger McKenzie 167
3 Andy McElrea 100

New Zealand Formula Ford Championship round 2

1 Aaron Marr 418
2 Michael Scott 414
3 Ethan Anderson 325
4 James Webb 314
5 Grant Campbell 268


1 Michael Scott 1:44.428
2 Aaron Marr 1:44.629
3 Hunter McElrea 1:45.771
4 Ethan Anderson 1:46.295
5 Dyson Freeman 1:46.355
6 Mitchell Maddren 1:47.723
7 Jordan Michels 1:48.039
8 Royce Bayer 1:48.901
9 Tim Miles 1:49.095
10 James Webb 1:49.888
11 Grant Campbell 1:49.889
12 Anna Collins 1:50.569
13 Andy McElrea 1:50.624
14 Robert Toshach 1:51.348
15 Stephen Hefferman 1:51.816
16 Trevor Stiles 1:52.819
17 Graham Dickie 1:52.934
18 Gary Lovie 1:54.150
19 Corey Hodges 1:54.549
20 Joseph Oliver 1:56.198
21 Philip Butcher 2:03.639
22 Roger McKenzie 2:17.079
23 Blair Brownlee 0:00

Race 1 (10 laps)
1 Aaron Marr
2 Hunter McElrea
3 James Webb
4 Michael Scott
5 Mitchell Maddren
6 Andy McElrea
7 Jordan Michels
8 Dyson Freeman
9 Trevor Stiles
10 Ethan Anderson
11 Gary Lovie
12 Robert Toshach
13 Grant Campbell
14 Stephen Hefferman
15 Anna Collins
16 Graham Dickie
17 Corey Hodges
18 Joseph Oliver
19 Roger McKenzie
dnf Tim Miles
dnf Royce Bayer
dnf Philip Butcher
dnf Blair Brownlee

Race 2 (10 laps)

1 Michael Scott
2 Aaron Marr
3 James Webb
4 Hunter McElrea
5 Mitchell Maddren
6 Dyson Freeman
7 Andy McElrea
8 Ethan Anderson
9 Jordan Michels
10 Gary Lovie
11 Tim Miles
12 Robert Toshach
13 Grant Campbell
14 Anna Collins
15 Stephen Hefferman
16 Corey Hodges
17 Graham Dickie
18 Roger McKenzie
19 Trevor Stiles
20 Joseph Oliver
dnf Philip Butcher
dnf Royce Bayer
dnf Blair Brownlee

Race 3 (12 laps)

1 Michael Scott
2 Aaron Marr
3 James Webb
4 Mitchell Maddren
5 Dyson Freeman
6 Ethan Anderson
7 Robert Toshach
8 Grant Campbell
9 Tim Miles
10 Jordan Michels
11 Trevor Stiles
12 Stephen Hefferman
13 Graham Dickie
14 Anna Collins
15 Joseph Oliver
16 Corey Hodges
17 Roger McKenzie
dnf Andy McElrea
dnf Philip Butcher
dnf Gary Lovie
dnf Hunter McElrea

Benjamin Carrell is a freelance motorsport writer and currently edits He writes for a number of Kiwi drivers and motorsport clubs. That's when he's not working in his horticultural day-job or training for the next road or mtb cycle race!

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