Home Formula RegionalFRegional Americas Hedge wins twice, but Shehan reduces his FRegional Americas lead

Hedge wins twice, but Shehan reduces his FRegional Americas lead

by Ida Wood

Photo: FRegional Americas

Callum Hedge won two of Formula Regional Americas’ three races at Virginia International Raceway, but had his points lead reduced.

Ryan Shehan led a Crosslink/Kiwi Motorsport 1-2-3 in practice, a 1m45.274s putting him 0.072 seconds ahead of Hedge and with Cooper Becklin 0.989s behind. Qualifying followed later on Friday, and this time Hedge was fastest.

He took pole with a 1m45.986s lap, and Shehan was 0.223s slower in second place. There was a big gulf in pace to the rest of the field, with a gap of 1.804s to IGY6 Motorsports’ Hayden Bowlsbey in third and 2.512s to Becklin in fourth. Only nine drivers set representative laptimes in the session.

Shehan attacked Hedge for the lead going into the opening corner of race one, as Oliver Westling jumped up to third but then spun down to last after contact with Bowlsbey.

Late in lap three Shehan had another go at the lead, with Bowlsbey eight seconds back in third.

On lap six Max Hewitt spun off at Oak Tree, then Hedge did the same a lap later and handed Shehan a lead of close to seven seconds. Bowlsbey was 11.83s behind, but the gaps closed up as a caution period was called. Kevin Janzen used the opportunity to pit for nose cone repairs.

Racing resumed on lap 10 and Westling made a move that got him into sixth place. Shehan pulled a way, but a mistake then dropped him behind Hedge and Bowlsbey.

Now Hedge was back up front and with a gap, with Bowlsbey resorting to defence as Shehan pressured him. Shehan got by on the back straight on lap 12, and had a 3.6s gap to make up on Hedge. He was denied the opportunity to, as the race finished with a caution period after Hewitt buried his car in the barriers.

Becklin finished third as a 30s penalty for the lap one contact with Westling dropped Bowlsbey to eighth, and Westling himself ended up finishing fourth.

The race one fastest laps set the race two grid, putting Hedge on pole ahead of Shehan. He converted that into a 8.31s winning margin.

Westling jumped from fifth to third on lap one and held the position until Becklin got past on lap 12 of 17. Becklin finished 32.971s behind Hedge. Nicola Havrda was the only non-finisher, retiring in the pits mid-race.

Hedge had to hold off a surprise attack from Westling at the start of race three, sending him onto the grass, but then looked set for another dominant win in race three until he had what appeared to be an engine issue on lap six. Becklin inherited the lea, and had a big gap to Shehan in second, but then a caution period was called to retrieve Hedge’s stopped car.

Becklin had to resist an attempted move from Shehan at the restart, but after that could pull away for his first win after 11 successive third-place finishes. Late on Bowlsbey got past Westling for third after going side-by-side through Roller Coaster, and Havrda passed Hewitt for fifth.

Shehan reduced Hedge’s championship lead by four points over the weekend, and is 51 points behind with 75 left to score.

Results round-up
Race 1 (14 laps)
1 Callum Hedge Crosslink/Kiwi Motorsport 28m55.032s
2 Ryan Shehan Crosslink/Kiwi Motorsport +0.520s
3 Cooper Becklin Crosslink/Kiwi Motorsport +4.364s
4 Oliver Westling Jensen Global Advisors +5.046s
5 Austin Hill Austin Hill Motorsports +6.000s
6 Nicole Havrda Crosslink/Kiwi Motorsports +6.412s
7 Everett Stack Jensen Global Advisors +6.493s
8 Hayden Bowlsbey IGY6 Motorsports +31.548s
9 Kevin Janzen Crosslink/Kiwi Motorsport +2 laps
10 Max Hewitt Crosslink/Kiwi Motorsport +3 laps
Pole: Hedge, 1m45.986s
Fastest lap: Hedge, 1m47.003s

Race 2 (17 laps)
1 Hedge 30m20.767s
2 Shehan +8.310s
3 Becklin +32.971s
4 Westling +37.940s
5 Bowlsbey +47.035s
6 Hewitt +48.003s
7 Stack +1m07.740s
8 Hill +1m13.236s
9 Janzen +1m20.030s
Ret Havrda
FL: Hedge, 1m45.857s

Race 3 (15 laps)
1 Becklin
2 Shehan +1.452s
3 Bowlsbey +4.374s
4 Westling +5.706s
5 Havrda +16.526s
6 Hewitt +17.723s
7 Stack +26.092s
8 Janzen +40.612s
Ret Hedge
DNS Hill
FL: Becklin, 1m46.235s

Championship standings
Hedge 316   Shehan 265   3 Becklin 223   4 Westling 166   5 Manuel Roza 82   6 Bowlsbey 90   7 Bryson Morris 62   8 Hewitt 63   9 Nick Persing 52   10 Hill 42