Two wins and a second place was enough for Te Puke’s Michael Scott to take over the lead in the New Zealand Formula Ford Championship (NZFF) at the third round held at Teretonga Park in Invercargill over the weekend. Also doubling as the penultimate round of the South Island Formula Ford (SIFF) Championship, a similar result for Australian based Kiwi Hunter McElrea sees him extend his lead over second place with the final round to go in early April.
Heading into the round Scott was just four points behind Whanganui’s Aaron Marr who twice finished second to Scott and then secured a win in the final 20 lap feature race. It was a full weekend for Scott who was also competing in the Toyota Finance TR86 Championship, with both their races on Sunday preceding the two Formula Ford races.
A crowd highlight was the final 20 lap feature race on Sunday afternoon. Scott and Marr produced a thriller with a duel for the lead over the whole course of the race. Each driver kept attacking the other until Marr took the lead with two laps remaining and was able to create a gap until the chequered flag.
”It’s my first win against Michael (Scott) where we’ve fought for the whole race,” said Marr. “My final passing move was a calculated pass but I thought I may have been one lap too early. However, we meet some lapped traffic and it was then that I was able to get enough gap to hold it to the end.”
“It’s been a pretty good weekend,” commented Scott. “Aaron just drove better in the final race so a good win to him. It’s been really busy for me with the TR86 racing as well.”
Fifteen-year-old Hunter McElrea continues to lead the SIFF championship. He now holds a 38-point lead over Riverton’s Ethan Anderson who had a consistent points haul to move him up the leader board from third place.
“Teretonga is an awesome track,” said McElrea. “I’ve really enjoyed the weekend; it has been a lot of fun.”
Local drivers featured well with rookie Jordan Michels achieving three top five results and now moves into fifth in the national championship and third in the South Island.
“Home track advantage definitely came into play at this round,” commented Michels. “We’re really happy with the progress that we have made so far this season and hope to be in contention for podiums going forward.”
In the three classes contending the SIFF Championship, Anderson leads Class 1 from Michels and Mitchell Maddren who retired from the final race, losing valuable points.
In Class 2 McElrea has a 68 point lead over Anna Collins who is one point ahead of Dyson Freeman.
Southlands Corey Hodges leads Class 3 from Roger McKenzie.
With three rounds remaining in the NZ Formula Ford Championship, Scott now has four point lead over Marr as both drivers head to their North Island home tracks.
With one round remaining in the South Island series, Hunter McElrea has signaled that he will not return to defend his 38-point lead due to a clash of dates with his Australian racing program this year. This may well open up the final title fight to be between Anderson and Michels on 2 April.
The South Island Formula Ford Championship is sponsored by a range of loyal supporters – Avon Tyres, Newfield Autos and Motorsport Solutions NZ Ltd.
South Island Formula Ford Championship after round 5/6 (Provisional)
1 Hunter McElrea 207
2 Ethan Anderson 169
3 Jordan Michels 161
4 Mitchell Maddren 159
5 James Webb 146
6/ Robert Toshach 142
7/ Dyson Freeman 126
New Zealand Formula Ford Championship round 3/6
1 Michael Scott 631
2 Aaron Marr 627
3 James Webb 488
4 Ethan Anderson 472
5 Jordan Michels 403
6 Anna Collins 387