Home Featured David Morales gets first open-wheel win in Dorothy Smith Memorial Cup

David Morales gets first open-wheel win in Dorothy Smith Memorial Cup

by Ida Wood

Photo: Toyota Gazoo Racing NZ

David Morales earned his first single-seater racing win in style by dominating Formula Regional Oceania’s third race at Highlands Motorsport Park: the Dorothy Smith Memorial Cup.

The M2 Competition driver qualified second behind team-mate Callum Hedge, but a rocket start put him straight past into the lead.

From there he resisted lap after lap of pressure from Hedge, as the pair pulled away from the rest of the field, through the the first half of the 23-lap race.

The fight for victory ended as the race’s second half began though, as Hedge slowed with suspected damage and pitted so his team could inspect the rear of the car.

Morales’ lead went from 0.4 seconds to 11s, with Charlie Wurz now his closest rival. Wurz was able to bring the gap down to 8.4s, but he then had a trip through the gravel with just over three laps to go and was lucky to be able to return to track and still be in second place.

The lead grew back up to 11s, only decreasing again as Morales met the chequered flag and celebrated, with Wurz comfortably finishing second ahead of Liam Sceats.

Completing the top four were Ryder Quinn and Chloe Chambers, with Jacob Abel holding off Ryan Shehan for sixth after a dramatic race.

Abel had a clash mid-race with Josh Mason in which the latter had tried passing him on the inside but had drifted wide and caused a collision that sent him spinning. While Abel was able to continue with minimal time lost, Mason fell down the field once he got his car going again and ended up in similarly close battles with other drivers before being disqualified post-race.

Shehan and Tom McLellan had been battling for eighth in the middle of the race before James Penrose, the race two winner, got between them. Penrose ended up finishing eighth, ahead of McLennan and Bree Morris who had an off late in the race and then pitted so her Giles Motorsport team could check for damage.

Hedge spent several laps in the pits due to his car problem and did eventually rejoin the track, but he has now lost the points lead to Wurz.

Dorothy Smith Memorial Cup (23 laps)
Pos Driver Team Time
1 David Morales M2 Competition 34m54.528s
2 Charlie Wurz M2 Competition +10.723s
3 Liam Sceats M2 Competition +14.170s
4 Ryder Quinn M2 Competition +17.957s
5 Chloe Chambers Giles Motorsport +22.180s
6 Jacob Abel Kiwi Motorsport +24.432s
7 Ryan Shehan Giles Motorsport +24.874s
8 James Penrose Kiwi Motorsport +28.651s
9 Tom McLennan Kiwi Motorsport +44.791s
10 Lucas Fecury Kiwi Motorsport +56.913s
11 Bree Morris Giles Motorsport +1 lap
12 Callum Hedge M2 Competition +5 laps
DSQ Josh Mason Kiwi Motorsport +1m02.492s
Fastest lap: Wurz, 1m29.407s

Championship standings
1 Wurz 76   2 Morales 74   3 Abel 58   4 Quinn 58   5 Hedge 54   6 Penrose 52   7 Sceats 49   8 Chambers 45   9 Mason 31   10 McLennan 30