Anderson wins SIFF title at nail biter final round

One point was enough for Southland’s Ethan Anderson to win the 2015/16 South Island Formula Ford Championship title at the final round held at Timaru International Raceway on Saturday. The three race finale was effectively a duel between Southland drivers Anderson and Jordan Michels for the title, with Michels finishing runner up and top rookie driver.

In the end, it came down to the final race of the season with double points on offer to decide the championship. Anderson was just ahead on points and it was his title to lose.

Michels needed to win and have his rival finish third or worse, to win the title. Anderson’s aim was to win or finish right behind Michels.

While Michels did what was required and won the race, Anderson placed second, enough to secure the overall win by a nail biting one point.

“We are pretty stoked with the result,” commented Anderson. “We were pretty nervous heading into the weekend but the car was ‘on rails’ and couldn’t have performed better.”

As well as the title, Anderson also wins the opportunity to take part in a test at Winton Raceway in Victoria, Australia in an Australian Duratec Formula Ford with the Mygale Race Academy programme.

“It’s a great opportunity and one I am really looking forward to” said Anderson. “A big thanks to both Greg Woodrow from Mygale and to the SIFF organisers for this great prize.”

Australian based Kiwi Hunter McElrea was leading the SIFF series after five rounds but elected to stay at home and compete in the opening round of the Australian national series at Sandown Raceway in Victoria. His 38-point lead over Anderson was in theory enough to give him a mathematical chance of winning but practically it was always going to be a duel between Michels and Anderson on the day.

Eight points separated Anderson and Michels heading into the sixth round. Michels set fastest time in qualifying, gaining one more championship point reducing the gap to seven. He closed the gap even further with a win in the first race with Anderson second. Race two saw the places reversed with the win to Anderson.

While Michels took the overall round from Anderson, third overall and driver of the day was an impressive Grant Campbell who finished twice on the podium and set fastest lap in race one to start from pole in the second race of the day.

“Up until the last round the title was never in our sights,” said Michels. “Instead the aim had been for a season of learning the class. Although we are disappointed not to have won, we are thrilled to have finished second and win top rookie driver and to see Ethan (Anderson) win the title.

“We’ve all come a long way and the team is ready to win. I’ve got a great group of guys around me and we have all come a long way over the season and will now look towards next summer.”

Three classes were competing within the championship. Anderson won Class One from Michels and Robert Toshach, who had a consistent weekend finishing fourth in all three races.

With McElrea’s absence, Dyson Freeman was able to cut down his 69-point lead and win Class Two with Anna Collins third. Class Three saw Corey Hodges extend his lead to win over Roger McKenzie with Graham Dickie third.

An impressive 15 cars took to the grid including Robert Scott in the ex-Kim Crocker Formula Ford from Tauranga. Also on the grid for the first time was Tony Fitzpatrick driving a Stealth driven earlier in the season by Scott.

A number of drivers will now head to Pukekohe in a fortnights time to compete in the final round of the national championship. For both Michels and Anderson, both hope to compete again in the South Island and national championships. Both clearly have the talent to step up to compete at the next level.

South Island Formula Ford Championship points after round 6/6

1 Ethan Anderson 240
2 Jordan Michels 239
3 Hunter McElrea 207
4 Robert Toshach 190
5 Dyson Freeman 171
6 Mitchell Maddren 159

1 Ethan Anderson 285
2 Jordan Michels 274
3 Robert Toshach 241

1 Dyson Freeman 250
2 Hunter McElrea 245
3 Anna Collins 222

1 Corey Hodges 337
2 Roger McKenzie 268
3 Graham Dickie 191


1 Jordan Michels 01:07.776
2 Ethan Anderson 01:07.831
3 Dyson Freeman 01:07.856
4 Robert Toshach 01:07.934
5 Grant Campbell 01:08.249
6 Stephen Heffernan 01:08.753
7 Anna Collins 01:09.273
8 Royce Bayer 01:09.815
9 Robert Scott 01:10.204
10 Corey Hodges 01:10.501
11 James Dicey 01:10.633
12 Joseph Oliver 01:11.033
13 Graham Dickie 01:11.056
14 Tony Fitzpatrick 01:15.230
15 Roger McKenzie 01:15.822

Race 1 (10 laps)
1 Jordan Michels
2 Ethan Anderson
3 Dyson Freeman
4 Robert Toshach
5 Grant Campbell
6 Royce Bayer
7 Stephen Heffernan
8 Robert Scott
9 Corey Hodges
10 James Dicey
11 Joseph Oliver
12 Graham Dickie
13 Anna Collins
14 Tony Fitzpatrick
15 Roger McKenzie

Race 2 (10 laps)

1 Ethan Anderson
2 Jordan Michels
3 Grant Campbell
4 Robert Toshach
5 Dyson Freeman
6 Royce Bayer
7 Stephen Heffernan
8 Anna Collins
9 Robert Scott
10 Corey Hodges
11 Joseph Oliver
12 James Dicey
13 Graham Dickie
14 Tony Fitzpatrick
15 Roger McKenzie

Race 3 (12 laps) – Double Championship points
1 Jordan Michels
2 Ethan Anderson
3 Grant Campbell
4 Robert Toshach
5 Royce Bayer
6 Dyson Freeman
7 Stephen Heffernan
8 Anna Collins
9 Robert Scott
10 Corey Hodges
11 James Dicey
12 Graham Dickie
13 Tony Fitzpatrick
14 Roger McKenzie
DNF Joseph Oliver

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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