Reece Hendl-Cox has converted his pole position to a victory in race seven of the Hi-Q Components NZ Formula First Championship. Chris Symon, so far having a trouble-free weekend, finished second with series leader Kaleb Ngatoa third.
The podium duo quickly separated themselves from the cars behind, setting up a dynamic battle to for the win alway to the drop of the flag. There were a few moments that had the crowd on their feet, on the opening lap Hendl-Cox locked up and only just managed to keep it on the road and in third. Ngatoa nearly had a huge moment at the end of one of the fastest corners of the track, turn nine, when his rear wheel just ran off the road. The series leader raised heart rates again when he collected the rear wheel of Symon, causing the front of his car to launch in the air.
The battle for fourth quickly became a three-horse race after Amy Smith lost a lot of time to Conrad Clark, Callum Crawley and Liam Foster. The remaining three swapped positions on nearly every lap until SpeedSport Scholarship driver Clark found himself securing fourth over Crawley and Foster. Smith eventually finishing a distant seventh ahead of Taylor Hurst.
Travis Day and Blake Evans put on a great show in the dying stages of the race, battling over ninth position. A mammoth effort on the final three corners by Evans to get by Day was shut down by an aggressive defensive manoeuvre from the latter, denying the young gun the position. Not far behind them was Nathan Sudiono, coming home an impressive 11th.
The biggest battle pack of the race was for 12th and saw no fewer than seven cars scrambling for the spot. They would finish in the order of Craig Greenwood, Dave Scammell, Bob Dillow, Billy Frazer, Louis Redshaw and Shaun Logan, but not without some close calls. First, it was Hawley and Logan straight lining the chase before Redshaw was stuck in a Scammell-Greenwood sandwich, causing Redshaw to channel his speedway prowess to catch a big slide into turn 10.