NZ Formula First Championship set for bumper 2023-24 season

The 2023-24 Hi-Q Components NZ Formula First Championship is set to be a bumper season for the VW-based racing formula. A quality field of seasoned campaigners and a large number of aspiring young rookies will line up on the grid for a new season in just over a week’s time.

Returning to chase down his fourth consecutive title is reigning champion Chris Symon, along with seasoned campaigners such as Liam Nicholson and Liam Foster. Hot on the heels of them will be a fresh crop of exciting new talent, all set to be announced in the lead-up to the first weekend of the season.

The season opener takes place in its traditional labour weekend slot at Manfeild Circuit Chris Amon on 21-22 October. Round two also takes place at the Manawatū circuit for the first official weekend of summer on 2-3 December.

Hampton Downs welcomes in the new year with round three on 3-4 February 2024, befogging returning to Manfeild for round four on 23-24 February.

The tight and technical Taupo International Motorsport Park will then play host to round five on 16-17 March. A week later competitors will venture north to the penultimate round of the championship at Hampton Downs on 23-24 March.

Come 6-7 April, it will finish where it all started at Manfeild Circuit Chris Amon for the championship finale.

“This coming season is going to be a great one for Formula First,” said Ian Foster, President of FVANZ.

“Formula First has such a strong and proud history in New Zealand motorsport, and this year I think we’re going to see an exciting new chapter begin with the new talent coming through the class.

The NZ Formula First Championship is the breeding ground for driving talent in NZ. Liam Lawson, who won the 2015-16 Rookie of the Year title, made his Formula 1 debut which has been highlighted by a top-ten finish at the Singapore Grand Prix.

More recently, they celebrated the achievements of the 2023 Bathurst 1000 winning duo of Shane van Gisbergen and Richie Stanaway who both graduated from Formula First.

“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,” added Foster.

Championship organisers are also buoyed by confirmation that longtime championship sponsor Hi-Q Components has continued their support as naming rights partners for the ninth 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 drivers Brendon Hartley and Liam Lawson.