The New Zealand Grand Prix was an eventful weekend for the 2017/18 Hi-Q Components NZ Formula First Championship. Saturday saw one of the greatest races the class has ever seen while a dramatic Sunday well and truly shock up the championship.
Callum Crawley now leads the points ladder as Kaleb Ngatoa falls from the championship lead for the first time all season. Crawley only holds a narrow eight points over Ngatoa while Auckland’s Liam Foster sits in third just 28 points from the lead.
Slightly further behind in fourth sits Taupo’s Conrad Clark. His maiden win last time out closed up his points deficit to 112 points, while much larger than the gap between the top three, it’s not an impossible target with 225 points a round on offer and three rounds remaining.
Tied for fifth is Reece Hendl-Cox and Chris Symon. Both drivers have had their fair share of bad luck and poor results, as a result, they sit 163 points from the lead. Hendl-Cox was involved in an incident with Kaleb Ngatoa in Race 15 and was disqualified from Race eight. Symon however, has been plagued with mechanical issues seeing him retire from multiple races and finish down the order in others.
A contributing factor to Ngatoa’s championship demise has been ongoing engine issues resulting in decreased power. While his competitors have tried to capitalise on his issues, Brody McConkey’s return has played havoc with the front-runners. McConkey, who missed the opening three rounds, has returned to the class after a season away and has continued with his race winning pace which has seen him take positions from the championship hopefuls.
Crawley will be looking to extend his championship lead as much as he can before heading North to the final two rounds. His only race win came at Manfeild during the season opener and he proved fast last round. Expect him to be contesting for wins with Conrad Clark and Liam Foster along with McConkey.
Formula First TV will be active across the weekend, with a weekend preview coming Friday night and a Facebook Live interview with our round winner on Sunday afternoon. Stay tuned to our Facebook page for updates over the weekend!