A six-strong crop of rookies will contest this season’s Hi-Q Components NZ Formula First Championship. Rookie racers are often the focus of series thanks to the classes long history of nurturing young talent into international stars.
The highly sought-after ‘Rookie of the Year’ title has been won by the likes of Scott Dixon, Richie Stanaway, Nick Cassidy, Shane van Gisbergen, Liam Lawson, Conrad Clark and Ronan Murphy. This season Asten Addy, Bree Morris, Leo Scott, Braeden Snowden, Matthew McCutcheon and Mauro Iglesias will all fight for the accolade.
Despite what is sure to be fierce competition on the track, all six rookies are all looking for one thing other than the title. Learning.
Addy, 15, from Hamilton, has already enjoyed success in a Formula First car after he won the Manfeild Winter Series early in September. Addy started racing in karts from age eight until stepping up to Formula First earlier this year.
“I’m looking forward to the racing and the people. I can’t wait to race on some new tracks and soak up all the learnings from this class and improve my driving.” said Addy
“We just want to be consistent and be competitive. Hopefully, that means we grab some podiums and maybe a win or two along the way. The rookie title would also be a great achievement for us.”
McCutcheon, 16, from Auckland is racing under the prestigious SpeedSport Scholarship banner this season after receiving the scholarship in May. McCutcheon comes from a dirt background and has enjoyed lots of success in speedway racing.
“I’m looking forward to racing at all the tracks in the North Island.” said McCutcheon.
“I’m incredibly excited to get started with tarmac racing. It will be very different from dirt, but there will be plenty of learnings to come from it.
“I want to keep improving across the season and if we can do that then I think we can be aiming for podiums and wins by the end of the season.”
Morris, 15, of Auckland is another karter who has made the step up into national circuit racing. She brings international experience to the class, having competed in Italy and Australia during her karting tenure.
“I’m really excited for this season of Formula First.” said Morris
“Racing cars is going to be very different to karts, but I’m looking forward to learning as much as I can in the Formula First such as racecraft, data, setup and how to maximise a cars speed.
“My goals for this season is to finish on the podium and aim to finish in the top five of the championship.”
Scott, 15, and Snowden, 16, both from Whangarei are karters who have made the step up into Formula First looking to progress their motor-racing and learn as much as they can in the class.
Argentine Mauro Iglesias brings some more international experience to the Formula First grid, having competed in his native Formula 4 Championship.
This season the rookies will be denoted on track by running a yellow background to their race numbers on their cars.
The opening round of the 2019/20 Hi-Q Components NZ Formula First Championship takes place at Manfeild Circuit Chris Amon on October 18-20.