NZ Formula Ford driver Ronan Murphy gives us a run down on his final NZFF round last weekend at Pukekohe…..
I competed in Round 5 of the ITM NZ Formula Ford Championship over this last weekend which was held at Pukekohe Park Raceway on the long track with the chicane. The weekend was a bit more positive than the previous two recent rounds as we seemed to find a little bit more speed and consistency and for the first meeting in a while managed to avoid the engine issues that have plagued my car recently.
I qualified5th and only 3/100ths of a second off third so was pretty satisfied with that. I finished fourth in the first and second races, and sixth in the third race, but this time I was a lot closer to the front running pack.
I still didn’t quite have the speed to contest with the cars ahead but it was still a positive change to be running hot on the heels of the front runners. This meant I finished fourth for the weekend, only four-points behind third.
The podium would have been a great finish for me to reward my very loyal supporter base. The car was handling really nicely and I probably drove some of my better and more consistent races to date in the category, but the engine (as I was told by a very reputable engine builder) was still just a little down in HP compared to some of the front runners in the class, but as it was to be one of my last races in the category it was a bit too late to have it developed further to be of a benefit.
Being that I will be heading to the USA at the end of March for a number of days testing and then round one of the US F4 Championship on 9th April at Road Atlanta, I won’t be competing in the sixth and final round of the Formula Ford Championship. This was scheduled to be in Taupo mid-March (now to be held at the Supercars round at Hampton Downs in April), unfortunately making this round my final in the NZ Formula Ford Championship.
A huge thank you as always to Glenn, Michael, Andy and the Spectrum Team and also to the Crawley family for everything they have done for me in the last year.
Last but not least a massive thank you to all my amazing sponsors and supporters, including all of you, for everything over the last racing season, as I would not being doing this without you.
I still have a local goal to achieve in winning outright the Elite Motorsport Academy Award for 2019/2020 which will be announced in May at the MSNZ prize giving so am still giving that 110%, as well as my daily work at a great NZ and international business here in Napier – FPG (Future Products Group) also a very valuable sponsor of my racing – so not much spare time but am enjoying all the challenges!
I am also working hard and continuing my preparation for the next chapter in my motorsport career over in the United States in the US Formula 4 Championship. I look forward to keeping you all updated on my progress and results and thank all of you who have offered help in allowing me to achieve my ambitions and goals in the USA!!