Young McElrea takes lead in South Island Formula Ford Championship

| Photographer Credit: Euan Cameron Photography

Young Australian based Kiwi Hunter McElrea has taken the outright lead in the South Island Formula Ford Championship (SIFF) after a successful second round at Timaru over the weekend. The 15 year old took maximum points from three races. The event also doubled as the opening round of the New Zealand Formula Ford Championship with Wanganui’s Aaron Marr taking a points lead from Te Puke’s Michael Scott.

“It’s been a great weekend at Timaru,” commented McElrea. “We managed to clean sweep the weekend in the South Island’s and finish fourth in the nationals. Now I’m really looking forward to the next round in three weeks.”

McElrea, driving an older Class 2 1991 Van Diemen, has a 14 point lead over Southland’s Ethan Anderson with the second Australian based Kiwi Mitchell Maddren in third. Maddren currently leads the Class 1 SIFF finishing 6th, 7th and 5th for the weekend.

Twenty-two cars were entered and it was Marr who stamped his authority on the meeting qualifying fastest from Scott, Webb and McElrea. In the first race he drove away from the field after Scott developed an engine issue.

While Marr led from the start of race two, it was Scott, driving last season’s championship wining Mygale car who took the lead early and held it until the checkered flag. Marr was close behind and ready to pounce but a mistake was not forth coming. The third race was almost a repeat, with Marr happy to finish second and take the points.

“We’re very happy,” commented Marr. “A great weekend with a race win and two seconds, so not disappointed at all.”

Neither Marr, Scott or Levin’s James Webb, who finished all three races on the podium in third, are competing in the South Island Series, only for the national title. It was an impressive performance from Webb, the 2013 Speedsport Scholarship winner. Driving Scott’s Mygale car from last season, it was the first time the youngster had driven a Formula Ford and showed that he will get more competitive as the season continues.

Also impressive were Anna Collins driving her brother Michael’s Class 2 Van Diemen, finishing first in the national Class 2 category. Blair Brownlee had three top ten placings in an older Lola Class 3 car while Trevor Stiles from the UK drove well in his second season in NZ despite some handling problems affecting his weekend.

The SI Championship now heads to Invercargill for round three in early December. Second placed overall and in Class 1, Ethan Anderson from Riverton is looking forward to some home track advantage.

“We had a rough weekend at Timaru with mechanical issues affecting us,” commented the 25 year old electrician. “Testing went well on Friday but then Saturday was quite different with a misfire at the top end. It was a matter of nursing it through the meeting to get some points. We’ll keep pushing on at our home track.”

South Island Formula Ford Championship
Overall Points Table after Round 2/6 (Top 10)

1/ Hunter McElrea 81
2/ Ethan Anderson 67
3/ Mitchell Maddren 63
4/ Jaxon Evans 61
5/ Rober Toshach 57
6/ Gary Lovie 56
7/ Royce Bayer 55
8/ Andy McElrea 48
9/ Grant Campbell 40
10/ Aaron Marr 34

Class 1
1/ Mitchell Maddren 91
2/ Ethan Anderson 88
3/ Robert Toshach 84

Class 2
1/ Hunter McElrea
2/ Royce Bayer
3/ Gary Lovie

Class 3
1/ Corey Hodges 98
2/ Roger McKenzie 81
3/ Andy McElrea

Race 1 (10 laps)
1 Aaron Marr
2 Hunter McElrea
3 James Webb
4 Dyson Freeman
5 Robert Toshach
6 Mitchell Maddren
7 Blair Brownlee
8 Ethan Anderson
9 Michael Scott
10 Trevor Stiles
11 Grant Campbell
12 Anna Collins
13 Royce Bayer
14 Gary Lovie
15 Robert Scott
16 Corey Hodges
17 Joseph Oliver
18 Roger McKenzie
dnf Jordan Michels
dnf Laurie Henderson

Race 2 (10 laps)
1 Michael Scott
2 Aaron Marr
3 James Webb
4 Hunter McElrea
5 Blair Brownlee
6 Dyson Freeman
7 Mitchell Maddren
8 Robert Toshach
9 Ethan Anderson
10 Grant Campbell
11 Gary Lovie
12 Trevor Stiles
13 Royce Bayer
14 Jordan Michels
15 Anna Collins
16 Corey Hodges
17 Joseph Oliver
18 Roger McKenzie
dnf Robert Scott
dns Laurie Henderson

Race 3 (12 laps)
1 Michael Scott
2 Aaron Marr
3 James Webb
4 Hunter McElrea
5 Mitchell Maddren
6 Blair Brownlee
7 Gary Lovie
8 Ethan Anderson
9 Grant Campbell
10 Trevor Stiles
11 Robert Toshach
12 Jordan Michels
13 Royce Bayer
14 Anna Collins
15 Robert Scott
16 Corey Hodges
17 Roger McKenzie
dnf Joseph Oliver
dnf Dyson Freeman
dns Laurie Henderson

1 Aaron Marr 01:05.988
2 Michael Scott 01:06.222
3 James Webb 01:06.526
4 Hunter McElrea 01:07.415
5 Mitchell Maddren 01:07.669
6 Robert Toshach 01:07.893
7 Dyson Freeman 01:07.931
8 Jordan Michels 01:08.025
9 Ethan Anderson 01:08.270
10 Gary Lovie 01:08.719
11 Blair Brownlee 01:08.788
12 Royce Bayer 01:09.076
13 Robert Scott 01:09.218
14 Trevor Stiles 01:09.393
15 Anna Collins 01:09.458
16 Laurie Henderson 01:11.535
17 Corey Hodges 01:11.728
18 Joseph Oliver 01:13.148
19 Grant Campbell 01:14.054
20 Roger McKenzie 01:14.854

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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