Round 8: Taupo Preview

Whakatane’s Reece Hendl-Cox has got one hand firmly on the NZ Formula First Championship trophy following an absolutely dominant season to date. Hendl-Cox has taken 11 race wins in the 2018/19 Hi-Q Components NZ Formula First Championship heading into the final round of the season this weekend. 

Hendl-Cox holds a mammoth 182-point lead over Palmerston North’s Chris Symon and with only 225-points left to fight for in the championship, Hendl-Cox needs just a top-six finish in Saturday’s opening race of the weekend. Sitting in third is Auckland teen Billy Frazer, 46-points from Symon. Frazer will be keen to claim second place as the championship win is now mathematically out of question.

Liam Foster sits in a comfortable fourth place, 62-points off Frazer and 137-points clear of fifth-placed Amy Smith. Back in sixth place sits SpeedSport Scholarship driver Ronan Murphy, leading the rookie of the year title over his nearest rival, Thomas Boniface. Boniface sits seventh overall, 56-points adrift of Murphy.

Further down the order, we have our ‘Sunset’ championship for our more mature drivers. This season we’ve seen some great driving from Ron Carter, fighting well inside the top ten for the majority races. Carter established an unassailable points lead at the conclusion of the previous round to become our first champion of the season.  

This weekend marks the second stop at Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park for the season, with the class visiting the circuit just three weeks ago. Reece Hendl-Cox took two of the three race wins with Brody McConkey taking the third and final victory.

Expect to see some exciting, dynamic and action-packed battle will be happening at the front of the field. It’s standard for the 1200cc air-cooled VW power cars to side-by-side into and through corners. The cars will then form a Formula First freight train down the big back straight before an exciting game of who can brake the latest takes place at the chase!

The NZ Formula First Championship has been known to develop some on New Zealand’s best drivers and has nurtured talent like five-time IndyCar Champion Scott Dixon, Supercars champ Shane van Gisbergen, Formula 1 driver Brendon Hartley, SuperGT champ Nick Cassidy, GP2 winner and Supercars driver Richie Stanaway and Toyota Racing Series sensation and Red Bull junior Liam Lawson.

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