Te Puke’s Michael Scott has maintained his lead in the 2015/16 New Zealand Formula Ford Championship over rival Aaron Marr after a controversial round at the NZ Grand Prix meeting at Manfeild Park in Feilding.
Both Scott and Marr were disqualified from the second of three races after both drove beyond the track limits ignoring flags. This handed the win to rookie Jordan Michels from Southland, his first win adding to a third place in the first race of the round. He has now moved into third place in the championship, 70 points behind Marr.
Scott won both the other two races from Marr and now has a 44 point lead over his rival heading into the final round at Pukekohe in Auckland in April (16-17). Scott also leads the points table for Class 1 cars.
Christchurch’s Anna Collins had a successful weekend with her first podium in a national championship race. Also in her rookie year she finished third in race two behind Tauranga’s Kim Crocker and leads Class 2 and is just 24 points behind Michels for third overall.
Missing from the action at his home track was James Webb. At the previous round at Taupo he was sent home by officials due to a ‘low’ car. His racing licence has been removed as he already had received an endorsement from the opening round in Timaru last year due to an engine technicality.
At stake in this season’s title fight is the opportunity to attend an international ‘shootout’ to determine who wins a $US200k fully supported drive in the Cooper Tires USF2000 2017 championship. This championship is the first step of the Mazda Road to Indy, a program set up for single seater drivers to make it all the way through to the Verizon IndyCar Series in which Kiwi Scott Dixon competes.
Already former NZ Formula Ford champion James Munro is heading over to the States to race in the USF2000 series. Munro won the NZ title in the 2012/13 season and will be the first Kiwi to compete in the series. The Cantabrian has just finished his third season competing in the Toyota Racing Series, finishing eighth overall in a highly competitive field of international drivers.
Drivers and teams will now prepare for the final showdown at Pukekohe. With a maximum of 225 points on offer it would seem that Scott has one hand on the title but any slip up will allow Marr to take the spoils of victory.
Overall points after 5/6 rounds (Top 5)
1/ Scott 1006
2/ Marr 962
3/ Michels 592
4/ Collins 568
5/ Webb 488