Brook Reeve has demonstrated he’s a strong championship contender after the opening round of the New Zealand Formula First championship at Manfeild.
The 17-year-old teenager from Blenheim finished runner-up in two of the three championship races, beaten to the chequered flag by a mere hundreths-of-a-second on both occasions.
At the end of the round, Reeve is holding second place in the series, just 23 points behind multiple series champion Michael Shepherd.
Reeve has returned to the Formula First single-seater category after debuting last season as the SpeedSport Scholarship winner and finishing with the Rookie of the Year title.
After a poorer than expected qualifying effort, Reeve was soon in the lead of the first race from grid five, before a driving mistake sent him off the track. He quickly recovered from 8th place to get back into the lead of the race before contact with a rival dropped him back to sixth at the finish.
There were no such mistakes in the following two races and although leading throughout both races, was just pipped for the win in both races at the finish line.
“It was a great weekend,” said Reeve. “That would have to be the closest racing I’ve ever had since I started car racing. In the last two races we were racing two and three wide through the corners with the lead constantly changing but there was no contact between us, just fast, close racing.
“I’m really pleased I came back to this class [Formula First] for another season as this type of racing is what really makes you sharp as a race car driver. There’s simply no other form of [car] racing in this country where you can get that close, cut-throat competition
“It can only be good experience and racecraft for me in future years,” he added.
Without a leading sponsor, Reeve is grateful to his family, friends and loyal supporters to have got to the opening round and helped him stamp his mark on the championship chase with early success.
“The car’s fast, the team did a great job and I’ve got a year of experience to call on. I’m sure the team and I can give the championship a serious challenge this year,” said Reeve.
Reeve has stayed with Dennis Martin’s Sabre Motorsport team and has the newly crowned SpeedSport Scholarship winner, Liam Lawson, as one of his teammates.
“Last year I was in Liam’s position, learning all about this type of racing whereas now I feel I can use that experience to better my results.”
It’s just over twelve months since Reeve moved up from racing karts to cars and already he is showing the type of potential that has taken previous Scholarship winners on to the top levels of motorsport, including V8 Supercars, international GT cars and European single-seaters.
“One step at a time,” said Reeve as he takes aim for the next round of the New Zealand Formula First championship at the Taupo race circuit at the end of October.