The final round of the 2015/16 South Island Formula Ford championship will be a decider between three drivers this weekend at the Timaru International Motor Raceway. In theory there are five drivers in with a mathematical chance of winning. Practically there will be only three lining up on the grid on Saturday. On the line is the opportunity for the title winner to take part in a test at Winton Raceway in Victoria, Australia, in an Aussie Duratec Formula Ford with the Mygale Race Academy programme.
Current overall points leader Australian based Kiwi Hunter McElrea is not making the trip across the Tasman, nor is Mitchell Maddren who sits fourth on the table. Fifth placed James Webb is under a licence suspension which leaves Southland rivals Ethan Anderson and Jordan Michels competing for the title with Robert Toshach in with a chance should either falter.
Anderson is placed second on the overall points table just 38 points behind McElrea with Michels just eight points further back. Of the three classes that make up the championship field, Anderson leads currently leads the Class One from Michels.
“It’s a bit of a long shot for me to win the title,” commented Michels. “When I started the season the focus wasn’t to win, but as a learning year so this is all a bonus.
“It’s more than we ever expected, so whatever happens, happens. I’ve got an awesome team that backs me no matter what happens. There has been a lot of preparation in the past for this type of situation when I was in karting.”
McElrea has elected to stay in Australia and compete in their national championship that gets underway this weekend at Sandown Raceway. Maddren was expected to compete in a leased car but at the time of writing had not entered the round. With a 38-point lead over Anderson, McElrea still has a mathematical chance of winning if any of the battling three drivers should not finish a race and not gain any points.
However, there is a maximum of 81 points on offer for Anderson, Michels and Toshach to fight over in the three race program on Saturday. Top qualifier gains one point with 20 points available for the winner of the first two races and double points (40) for the third and final race of the season.
McElrea has been competing through the season in a Class Two car and also has a mathematical chance of winning this title. Again with a maximum of 80 points available for each of the three classes within the championship, he is 69 points ahead of Dyson Freeman with Christchurch’s Anna Collins just two points further back. Collins has already secured the national title in this class and will no doubt want to add a second trophy to her cabinet this season.
Class Three will be fought out between Corey Hodges who has a comfortable 45-point lead over Roger McKenzie.
Also entered in the round is Aucklander Tony Fitzpatrick who will be driving a Stealth driven earlier in the season by Robert Scott.
South Island Formula Ford Championship after round 5/6
Overall (Top 6)
1 Hunter McElrea 207
2 Ethan Anderson 169
3 Jordan Michels 161
4 Mitchell Maddren 159
5 James Webb 146
6 Robert Toshach 142