Chris Symon has taken another race win at Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park after claiming race eight of the Hi-Q Components NZ Formula First Championship. Series leader Kaleb Ngatoa came home second to extend his points lead to 70 over his nearest rival while Reece Hendl-Cox was denied a podium finish after being excluded from the race.
Race seven winner Hendl-Cox, starting from the front row, did not move as the lights went out and saw himself get swamped by the pack behind him into the first turn. This allowed Ngatoa to move into the lead with Symon and Callum Crawley behind him to form the podium battle pack.
At the end of the opening lap, young Blake Evans made an unfortunate mistake, running just wide onto the front straight and collecting the tyre barrier with the right side of his car. Evans rolled to a holt with terminal damage, dashing his hopes of a good result after slicing through the field during his only lap.
The incident prompted a safety car to recover the #16 car, bunching the field up again. Symon used his experience to get a good gap on Ngatoa and Crawley at the restart. The pack quickly condensed again into a six-car train of Symon, Ngatoa, Crawley, Hendl-Cox, Conrad Clark and Liam Foster. All battling for the lead, the group traded positions and almost some paint in some moves.
On the last lap Symon would out-brake Ngatoa into the chase, and follow through for the race win while Hendl-Cox got by Crawley and Clark to cross the line third. However, his post-race exclusion promoted Crawley onto the podium.
Clark would end up fourth ahead of Foster, Smith and Taylor Hurst while Travis Day and Nathan Sudiono rounded out the top ten. Further back, Billy Frazer, 11th, lead home Alex Hawley, Dave Scammell, Craig Greenwood and Bob Dillow.
Symon’s win moves him within ten points of fourth-placed Hendl-Cox and 184 from the championship lead. Evans’ DNF drops him down to eighth, almost 100 points from leading rookie Conrad Clark.