North Island Formula Ford Series back in action this weekend at Legends of Speed event

| Photographer Credit: Geoff Ridder

The closely fought 2023/24 Giltrap Group North Island Formula Ford Series resumes this weekend with Round 4 taking place at the Hampton Downs Motorsport Park. Dylan Grant holds a narrow five-point lead over rival Zach Blincoe with qualifying and three races over Saturday and Sunday.

While it has been three months since the last round in December 2023, many of the drivers have since been in action in the South Island at the opening two rounds of the highly competitive 2024 NZ Formula Ford Championship title fight.

#20 Dylan Grant competing in the NZ Formula Ford round in Christchurch – photo Geoff Ridder

Grant (Van Diemen RF03) heads into the round as favourite, not only leading the championship but also winning all three races last time the Series was at Hampton Downs in October 2023. Blincoe (Mygale SJ07) has been on a charge having stood on the podium in five of the ten races this season including two race wins at the last round in Feilding.

Not far behind are Blake Dowdall (Spectrum 015) and Mason Potter (Spectrum 015) both hunting for their first win of the season and have both been testing to gain that extra speed since returning from the South Island. Also, in the mix this weekend is Christchurch’s Izaak Fletcher (Ray GR20) who won the South Island Formula Ford Championship Rookie title as well as finishing fourth overall.

#86 Toby McCormack – photo Geoff Ridder

Toby McCormack (Van Diemen RF01 Scholarship car) has a narrow 21-point lead over Reagan Edwards (Spectrum 015) in the rookie standings with a 237-piece SP Custom Series Tool Kit worth $3000 for the winner, provided by Napa Auto Parts and SP Tools. Both sit eighth and ninth on the overall points table and again have been testing with Edwards calling upon Ken Smith and Tom Alexandra to help learn the car better. Nick Buxeda, Kim Crocker and Shane Drake all return to the series for what should be a great occasion.

This is the last regional outing for any NZ competitors before the series returns to Manfeild Circuit Chris Amon in two weeks’ time which also doubles up as Round 3 of the Napa Auto Parts NZ Formula Ford Championship.

#92 Shane Drake and #49 Reagan Edwards – photo Geoff Ridder

The weekend is part of the Legends of Speed meeting celebrating Graeme Lawrence and family with some big names coming down from America including Davy Jones and Dean Hall. Also joining the Formula Ford category is a good field of Historic cars. Qualifying, with a $500 cash prize for the fastest lap provided by the Hampton Downs NZ Racing Academy, takes place on Saturday morning with Race 1 in the afternoon followed by two races on Sunday.

Overall Points after Round 3/6
Pos, Name, Total
1/ Dylan Grant 560
2/ Zach Blincoe 555
3/ Blake Dowdall 522
4/ Mason Potter 455
5/ Blake Knowles 436
6/ Shane Drake 427
7/ Will Neale 409
8/ Toby McCormack 406
9/ Reagan Edwards 385
10/ Sebastian Manson 227
11/ Keith Miller 141
12/ Nick Buxeda 88
13/ Zac Stichbury 42

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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