Crosbie sixth in championship after penultimate round

There is just one round to go in the 2024 Castrol Toyota Formula Regional Oceania Championship and seventeen-year-old Southland driver Alex Crosbie sits sixth in the points after the action at Euromarque Motorsport Park, Ruapuna in Christchurch at the weekend.

Crosbie qualified sixth fastest for the first race of the weekend on Saturday lamenting that he had made a few mistakes on his push laps. “I wanted to be a wee bit higher,” he said after the session after having been third quickest in the final practice session the previous day.

Crosbie made a good start to Saturday’s race and spent the entire race in fifth place behind experienced American Jacob Abel and his own team mate Kaleb Ngatoa. “Kaleb and I had the pace,” said Alex after the race, “but it is hard to pass here. “It is good in a Formula Ford but different in these cars.”

Alex Crosbie

Nevertheless, fifth place in the race was a good start to the weekend and saw Alex fifth overall in the championship overnight and just ten points behind Canadian Patrick Woods-Toth in the Rookie Championship.

Qualifying for the feature race, the prestigious Lady Wigram Trophy race, was the first item of business on Sunday and Crosbie managed the eighth fastest time. “It was a quicker lap than my time in Saturday qualifying but others went faster again. I didn’t quite have the pace although I was the quickest of the Giles Motorsport cars.”

That meant Alex would start the feature from eighth position but first he contested Race 2 of the round where he would start fourth. He lost one place off the start to team mate Ngatoa and had championship leader Roman Bilinksi get past during the race. “Once Roman got past he didn’t make up too much ground in front of me,” said Alex.

From eighth on the grid in the feature Crosbie finished eighth but he pressured Race 2 winner Michael Shin of South Korea all the way. Shin received a warning at one point for exceeding track limits as he worked hard to keep Alex behind him and then made a mistake a late in the race after which he quickly moved to prevent Alex from making a pass. “I just didn’t have the pace through Pothole,” said Alex referring to one of the corners on the Ruapuna layout which leads to one of the few passing opportunities on the track.

The final round of the championship takes place at Highlands Motorsport Park in Cromwell this weekend with the feature race, the New Zealand Grand Prix. Alex lies sixth overall in the points, a fine effort in his rookie season, but he is now 27 points behind Woods-Toth in the Rookie Championship. ”I will need to stay in front of him all weekend,” says Alex. Ironically while Highlands is the closest track in the series this year to his home track of Teretonga Park, Alex has never raced at the Central Otago layout. “I have driven an older FT-50 chassis there but we have not done very many laps. It’s fast and flowing and I do look forward to racing there,” he said.

Related Stories

Join in the conversation!


Leave a Reply