Close fight to continue in NZ Formula Ford Championship at Taupo this weekend
Current national Formula Ford champion Alex Crosbie heads into the second of four 2023 NAPA Auto Parts New Zealand Formula Ford Championship rounds with a narrow one-point lead over rival Dylan Grant. Just another six-points behind lingers Daniel Brown with Mason Potter, Jack Noble-Adams and Blake Dowdall still well in contention. Taupo Motorsport Park hosts the meeting which also doubles as the sixth round of the Giltrap Group North Island Formula Ford Series.
The opening national round, last weekend at Hampton Downs, saw a fierce battle between the top two with one win each. Crosbie looked like he was about to take a second win in the final third race but the two had a ‘coming-together’ on the final lap, both dropping down the order with Dowdall taking the win.
Taupo presents another challenge for all drivers with a long back straight and a tight inner track with limited passing opportunities meaning a greater emphasis on qualifying well on Saturday morning.
“I’ve only raced at Taupo once before,” commented Crosbie. “Hopefully qualifying goes well as that is important for that circuit. It will be close racing again like we had at Hampton Downs.”
Although it was Crosbie’s first meeting at Taupo last season, he was able to come away with three podium finishes. Grant too admits that he has also had limited racing at the circuit.
“I haven’t done many laps in a Formula Ford around Taupo,” said Grant. “I know Alex’s car is quick in a straight line, but I think that we might have a chance in the tighter sections. Qualifying will be very important.”
The weekend is also the penultimate round of the Giltrap Group North Island Formula Ford Championship with the likelihood of a new leader emerging for the overall title. With the non-entry of current leader Liam Sceats, one of either Dowdall, Potter or Grant is likely to take over with one round remaining.
Drivers will face five 10-lap races over the weekend including competing for the Ron frost Memorial Trophy in the final race of the meeting. Also, up for grabs is a $1,010,10 cash prize for fastest qualifier provided by the Hampton Downs NZ Racing Academy which also provides a travel fund for both North and South Island series. NAPA Auto Parts are also providing a $230 trade voucher for the North Island Series ‘Driver of the Day’.
The 2023 NZ Formula Ford Championship includes two North and two South Island rounds. The Napa Auto Parts NZ Formula Ford Championship and the Giltrap Group North Island Formula Ford Series are also supported by Yokohama, the Tony Quinn Foundation and NAPA Auto Parts.
Caption: #6 Blake Dowdall won his first race at Hampton Downs
Photo Credit: Geoff Ridder