The HiQ NZ Formula First Championship starred at last nights MotorSport New Zealand awards, with both past and present drivers as well as teams receiving multiple awards.
Present Champion, Michael Shepherd, received his award for his record seventh Championship win along with a Certificate of Outstanding Achievement for the Shepherd Family.
Michael has competed in 13 seasons of the NZ Formula First Championship, taking out the title in seven of those and finishing in the top three a further four times.
Younger brother Rowan also competed in the series, finishing third in his maiden season was a great achievement and he went on to win the championship the following two years.
The man behind all the success was their father, John, who gave his boys the machinery to become the only brother to win Championships in the class. In total John was the man on the spanners for nine Formula First Championships which is an amazing achievement.
Both Michael and Rowan have competed in numerous other classes in their time. Michael has raced in both Formula Ford and the NZV8’s. More recently Rowan has raced the past two seasons of Ssangyong Actyon Utes, finishing second in the championship on both occasions.
The HiQ NZ Formula First Championship congratulates the all the Shepherd Family on their Award and their Outstanding Achievement in New Zealand Motorsport.
Many past NZ Formula First competitors received awards also. Michael Scott (Formula Ford) and Simon Evans (NZTC) received their Championship awards.
WEC Champ Brendon Hartley received the Jim Clark Trophy Premier Award and was inducted into the MotorSport NZ Wall of Fame. Brendon Hartley started his Motorsport career in the 2002/2003 season of NZ Formula First. He then progressed to Formula Ford where he finished second and then TRS for two seasons to refine his driving before heading to Europe to compete in numerous open wheel series. Hartley looked to have found his home in Endurance Racing in where he became a Porsche LMP1 driver in the World Endurance Championship in 2014 and later won the 2015 WEC title with Porsche.
Formula First also congratulates Brendon on receiving those very prestigious awards.
Eight young guns where named for the Elite Motorsport Academy, one of those being Jacob Smith. Jacob competed in the NZ Formula First Championship from 2012-2015, finishing sixth in his final season before moving onto the TR86 series. Well done Jacob!