Scott wins NZ Formula Ford title at rain shortened finale

| Photographer Credit: Geoff Ridder

Te Puke’s Michael Scott is the 2015/16 Formula Ford Champion after winning two of the final three races of the season at Pukekohe Raceway over the weekend. Heavy rain saw race stewards finishing the meeting early due to extensive track flooding with six races to complete, including the final NZFF race of the season. Whanganui’s Aaron Marr finished runner up with Southland’s Jordan Michels third.

“I’m absolutely stoked to have won,” commented Scott. “It’s been neck and neck all season with Aaron (Marr) with some really close racing.” With six rounds held over the summer, Scott won 13 of the 17 races.

Rival Aaron Marr finished second in both races at the sixth and final round, finishing just 60 points behind Scott.

“It’s disappointing to finish second but that is how it is, that’s racing,” said Marr. “But we have had a solid season so really pleased with that.”

Scott set fastest lap on Saturday morning and led off the line in race one that afternoon. Marr was slow away but eventually caught and passed Scott for the lead. With the lead swapping over the remaining laps it was Marr who lead heading to the chequered flag only for Scott to get around him and win.

Michels finished third and secured third overall in the championship commenting, “It’s so much more than we ever expected in my rookie championship.”

“It was lap for lap passing,” commented Marr. “It was close and tight racing, like it was all season. We haven’t hit each other and it has been a great bit of rivalry with respect. We have been racing each other for a long time now”

The second and what turned out to be the final race was in the wet on Sunday morning. After a poor start and a short safety car period, Scott had the better wet weather set up on his car and was able to take the lead and pull away from Marr who finished in second.

“Unfortunately we didn’t get a crack at the third race,” said Scott. “I was initially a little bit gutted but it’s pretty exciting to get pole and two wins and finish on a high.”

Scott not only wins the national title but also the opportunity to attend an international ‘shoot-out’ to determine who wins a $US200K fully supported drive in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda in 2017. Scott will now head to the USA later in the year, something he is looking forward to. Now in its sixth year, the Mazda Road to Indy offers three key steps for drivers. Drivers begin the Mazda Road to Indy in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda. From there, drivers move on to the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires, formerly known as the Star Mazda Championship. The third step is the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires. Indy Lights is regarded as a step below the Verizon IndyCar Series.

“We’re thrilled to get this opportunity,” said Scott. “That’s one of the reasons we have been so dedicated to this series and this great opportunity. I’m looking forward to giving it a crack.”

Within the NZFF Championship there are three different Classes. Scott also wins Class One while rookie driver Anna Collins from Christchurch wins Class Two. Class Three goes to Roger McKenzie.

The NZ Formula Ford Championship co-ordinators now look to the 2016/17 season with several changes expected to go ahead in order to help improve the series. The championship name will now change to New Zealand Formula 1600 (NZF1600), freeing up the opportunity for commercial sponsorship. Also slight modifications to the Class structure will bring about more equity in the overall championship. This also includes one single entry fee to be applied across all series.

Results Round 6

1 53 Michael Scott 01:10.230
2 11 Aaron Marr 01:10.589
3 23 Jordan Michels 01:11.915
4 4 Nick Buxeda 01:12.052
5 6 Kim Crocker 01:12.884
6 99 Jordan Mountfort 01:13.616
7 12 Blair Brownlee 01:13.645
8 82 Codie Banks 01:13.974
9 43 Dave Silverton 01:14.669
10 71 Phil Foulkes 01:14.747
11 721 Ron Wilkin 01:15.869
12 51 Peter Boel 01:17.026
13 84 John Pickford 01:18.958
14 36 Geoff Bogue 01:19.648
15 72 Roger Mckenzie 01:24.400
16 80 Kurtis Raymond 01:17.375

Race 1 (10 Laps)
1 Michael Scott
2 Aaron Marr
3 Jordan Michels
4 Blair Brownlee
5 Kim Crocker
6 Jordan Mountfort
7 Nick Buxeda
8 Codie Banks
9 Ron Wilkin
10 Peter Boel
11 John Pickford
12 Geoff Bogue
13 Roger Mckenzie
dnf Dave Silverton
dnf Phil Foulkes

Race 2 (10 Laps)
1 Michael Scott
2 Aaron Marr
3 Blair Brownlee
4 Nick Buxeda
5 Kim Crocker
6 Jordan Michels
7 Dave Silverton
8 John Pickford
9 Roger Mckenzie
dnf Jordan Mountfort
dnf Geoff Bogue

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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