Louis Foster marked his arrival in Formula Regional Oceania with style, qualifying second and then winning a wet race one at Manfeild.
Travel issues meant the USF Pro 2000 champion missed the first two rounds, and only got to New Zealand in time for the second practice session of this weekend. But his wet-weather experience helped him get the upper hand.
The laptimes improved with each lap early in a rainy qualifying, with M2 Competition pair Charlie Wurz and Liam Sceats trading top spot before Foster split them by cutting Wurz’s pace gap to less than 0.1 seconds.
Qualifying was then red flagged as Josh Mason crashed out, and after the restart Foster bettered Wurz with less than two minutes to go. Wurz responded, taking pole by 0.299s over Foster, with Ryder Quinn and Jacob Abel third and fourth fastest.
The rain had stopped but the track was still soaked by the time the race started, but it had a similar pattern to how qualifying went.
Wurz sprinted away from pole, while Tom McLennan found himself bogging down in track-side puddles, with Foster in second and third place being disputed between Hedge and Ryder Quinn.
Sceats then crashed out at turn one, prompting a safety car intervention and red flags to be waved with the weater getting worse. The race restarted behind the safety car, and Foster was the leader once green flag action returned.
He looked comfortable out front, pulling away until another safety car period after his debuting Giles Motorsport team-mate Adam Fitzgerald crashed out. There was one more restart, and Foster again raced away to win by 3.202s over Wurz.
Hedge finished third, meaning Wurz extends his championship lead over him, and Quinn dropped down the order while McLennan recovered to take 10th place.
However the next day it was confirmed, after initally a severer penalty had been applied, that Wurz would be docked five seconds on his race result and given “one demerit point”. The result knocked him to fifth, and took his championship lead down to 16 points.
Race results (22 laps)
|1||Louis Foster||Giles Motorsport||29m35.400s|
|2||Callum Hedge||M2 Competition||+4.522s|
|3||Jacob Abel||Kiwi Motorsport||+7.421s|
|4||David Morales||M2 Competition||+8.174s|
|5||Charlie Wurz||M2 Competition||+8.202s|
|6||James Penrose||Kiwi Motorsport||+10.066s|
|7||Josh Mason||Kiwi Motorsport||+11.709s|
|8||Ryan Shehan||Giles Motorsport||+12.464s|
|9||Chloe Chambers||Giles Motorsport||+12.778s|
|10||Tom McLennan||Kiwi Motorsport||+15.361s|
|11||Bree Morris||Giles Motorsport||+17.744s|
|12||Lucas Fecury||Kiwi Motorsport||+18.357s|
|13||Ryder Quinn||M2 Competition||+23.870s|
|14||Billy Frazer||Hamilton Motorsport||+24.118s|
|Ret||Adam Fitzgerald||Giles Motorsport|
|Ret||Liam Sceats||M2 Competition|
|Fastest lap: Foster, 1m09.615s