The 2022-23 Hi-Q Components NZ Formula First Championship will mark 55 years of racing for the VW-based racing formula in New Zealand. On 25 November 1967, around six cars lined up at Levin for the first-ever Formula Vee race, as it was called back then, in New Zealand. 55 years later, a quality field of seasoned campaigners and aspiring young guns will line up to add another line to the Formula First history books.
Returning to chase down his third consecutive title is reigning champion, Chris Symon. Symon’s old foe, Liam Foster, will make his comeback this season after a hiatus to the United States for the 2021-22 championship. The championship favourites will be expecting to see some tough competition from the young guns though. With an exciting crop of rookie racers joining the grid and some second and third year drivers making their championship intentions clear.
The season opener moves back to its traditional labour weekend slot at Manfeild Circuit Chris Amon on 21-23 October. The championship then heads north for one last dance at Pukekohe Park on 12-13 November before the circuit’s permanent closure in April 2023.
Hampton Downs rounds out the year on 26-27 November for round three before returning to the Waikato circuit after the Christmas break on 3-5 February for the fourth round of the championship.
A week later competitors will move to the central plateau for round five at Taupo International Motorsport Park on 10-12 February before the penultimate round at Manfeild on 24-26 February. The championship concludes on April 1-2 at Manfeild.
“We’re super excited to finally be going racing for our 55th year,” said Ian Foster, President of FVANZ.
“Formula First has such a strong and proud history in New Zealand motorsport, dating way back to the late 60s. You only have to look at the long and growing list of Formula First competitors who have gone on to become international star drivers to understand how important our class is to an aspiring driver’s career.”
Championship organisers are also buoyed by confirmation that longtime championship sponsor Hi-Q Components has continued their support as naming rights partners for the eighth year in a row.
“We’re honoured to continue to have the support of Richard and Mandy from Hi-Q Components. The championship and its competitors are very proud to carry the Hi-Q name and we are hugely appreciative of what their support enables us to do,” added Foster.
The NZ Formula First Championship is renowned as a cheap and affordable first step in motorsport that provides a great opportunity for drivers to develop their skills on the track. The championship has been the starting point for drivers such as current Supercars champ Shane van Gisbergen, IndyCar champ Scott Dixon, F1 driver Brendon Hartley and Formula 2 race winner Liam Lawson.