Arran Crighton converted his first pole to his first race win at the Hi-Q Components NZ Formula First Championship opener. Bramwell King and Chris Symon finished alongside him on the podium.
With the anticipation and nerves of the first race of the season, the tension heading to the start line was massive. Will everyone get away cleanly? Who’s going to do the ‘hero dive’ into turn one?
Those questions were answered fairly quickly with everyone getting off the line with little drama and Dylan Smith pulling off a great move at turn one to move up two positions to fourth.
Crighton and King quickly pulled their gap to almost guarantee a top two position for the pair.
The typically intense action began on the second lap as the battle for the lead between Crighton and King started to steal the show. King would end the lap the leader, however a smart manoeuvre by Crighton saw him reclaim the lead one lap three.
Half way into the race the father-son duo of Ian and Liam Foster engaged in a battle for the top five with Callum Crawley while Dylan Smith, Chris Symon, Kaleb Ngatoa and Matt Podjursky all tussled for the final spot on the podium.
All the more impressive was Podjursky’s charge from last to the front pack, after starting from the back of the grid due to his engine dramas which saw him miss qualifying.
It was an unfortunate race for newcomer Travis Day after his race was finished early due to a throttle problem which pulled him into the pits on lap five.
It wasn’t until the final lap when we saw the first incident of the season, with Kaleb Ngatoa and Matt Podjursky coming together at turn one, sending them both off the track and out of podium contention.