Home Formula RegionalFRegional Oceania Aron “had to get crafty” resisting Woods-Toth for FRegional Oceania win

Aron “had to get crafty” resisting Woods-Toth for FRegional Oceania win

by Ida Wood

Photo: TGR NZ

Bryce Aron said he “had to get crafty” against Patrick Woods-Toth and Roman Bilinski as he fended off both for his Formula Regional Oceania win at Highlands Motorsport Park.

The 20-year-old American joined M2 Competition’s line-up for the last two rounds of the championship, finishing fourth in the Lady Wigram Trophy race last weekend at Ruapuna then taking victory on his fifth start in this Sunday’s reversed-grid race.

Kiwi Motorsport driver Woods-Toth attacked Aron at first, then champion-elect Bilinski got past him and pressured the leader before falling back behind Woods-Toth who attacked Aron some more but could not find a way past.

“That was really satisfying. It definitely was not an easy race,” said Aron. “Under significant pressure, getting [attacked] by Patrick and later by Roman. So it definitely made it a bit interesting, and I had to get crafty with how I defended. So really happy with the result there.

“I have to thank M2 Competition. They’ve given me a great car since I got here last week straight off the plane. It’s been a great two weeks, hopefully we can end it on another high in the New Zealand Grand Prix later today. Really thankful for the team around me, they were great. Also I would like to congratulate Roman on a fantastic five weeks here and this championship.”

Aron admitted he did “tighten up a little bit” while under attack, but his approach to defending proved successful.

“You have to stay calm, read the situation around you and through your rear-view mirrors see where they’re stronger than you. Or maybe where you’re stronger than them and how you can kind of use that aerowash to push them back a little bit. So it’s definitely a strategic game, a little bit like chess. But enjoyed it.”

Second place for Woods-Toth marked his best result of the season after three third places, and strengthened his hold on third in the standings. It also meant he secured the championship’s rookie of the year honours.

“I mean wow, what a season here,” was Woods-Toth’s reaction to finding out he was already confirmed as this season’s top rookie with a race to spare.

“A couple of podiums, and some good race results. We had speed the whole time. Today I was hoping we would get our first win, but just missing a little bit at the end there. But still a good race. Congratulations to Roman on the championship, he’s done an amazing job all year. And as well Bryce, this race was pretty much perfect from him. Congrats to those guys, but also amazing for us [being] rookie of the year and I couldn’t be more thankful of all the team and the sponsors.”

He added: “We had speed right away [in this series]. Honestly, it’s just putting it all together in the qualifying and the racing, but it’s been going good.”