Home News Liam Sceats dominates NZ FFord opener at Taupo

Liam Sceats dominates NZ FFord opener at Taupo

by Ida Wood

Liam Sceats dominated at Taupo in round one of New Zealand Formula Ford’s shortened two-event season.

The 16-year-old took pole by 0.424 seconds ahead of South Island FF1600 champion Zac Christensen, who pressured at the start of race one.

The inside line for turn one ensured Sceats led, and after more pressure that lap he pulled away for a 7.907s win in 10 laps.

Behind the top two was a close battle, with Leo Scott taking third from Hayden Bakkerus on lap one. Scott then hit trouble on lap five, slowing before going off and then retiring. Alex Crosbie passed Bakkerus for third, and Bree Morris lunged to demote him to fifth.

There was battling for sixth, with Jack Noble-Adams winning what became a four-car battle.

The same drivers started at the front of race two, and Sceats was even more assertive until a late safety car period.

Bakkerus had spun exiting the turn 11 hairpin, and departed his car just before Keith Muller spun into it. The race ended early behind the safety car, and Sceats headed circuit debutant Christensen, Crosbie, Scott and the fast-starting Noble-Adams.

Callum Crawley was seventh before spinning at turn 11 and avoiding being collected. He finished 11th.

Sceats calmly beat Christensen to race three victory on Sunday, but the racing behind was thrilling.

Scott initially kept with the top two, but was soon pressured by Crosbie who passed at the end of lap six. At turn one Scott dived back ahead, and Crosbie tried repassing on the outside of turn 11 and again on the final lap. Scott defended sternly, taking third by 0.199s. A four-car and three-wide battle raged all race for fifth, with Noble-Adams impressively prevailing.

Kyan Davie and Crawley had an even closer fight for ninth, with Crawley even using the grass and, after previously sending Morris airborne with rear-end contact, going airborne after striking Davie’s rear. They then collided at turn one on the last lap, both retiring.

Race four had the same top two, with Crosbie and Bakkerus third and fourth.

“I’m happy that I started my campaign with pole and getting four wins off four starts,” Sceats told Formula Scout.

“Big thanks to the team at Motorsport Solutions for maintaining the car all weekend. Pushing air out front with drivers behind you in your tow and the amount of tyre degradation happening was not easy all weekend but the car was hooked up, enabling us to make a big break every race within the first few laps.”

There was a four-car fight for fifth, again led by Noble-Adams, that split into two groups when Morris and Noble-Adams collided at turn 12 and both somehow returned to track undamaged. Crawley was at the rear of the train frustrated, but passed Sebastian Manson and Noble-Adams in the drama and cleared Morris next time by for fifth.

A safety car intervention paused all battles, with a last-lap restart which didn’t impact the top positions.

Noble-Adams however sank to 13th as championship manager Shane Drake passed him too early, collided with another car, spun and blocked his path.

Results round-up (Teams not listed)
Race 1 (10 laps)
1 Liam Sceats 16m10.792s
2 Zac Christensen +7.907s
3 Alex Crosbie +12.306s
4 Bree Morris +12.955s
5 Hayden Bakkerus +13.414s
6 Jack Noble-Adams +18.513s
7 Callum Crawley +18.772s
8 Sebastian Manson +19.103s
9 Shane Drake +19.744s
10 Kyan Davie +22.267s
Pole: Sceats, 1m35.395s
Fastest lap: Sceats, 1m35.742s

Race 2 (9 laps)
1 Sceats 17m40.712s
2 Christensen +0.666s
3 Crosbie +1.273s
4 Leo Scott +2.556s
5 Noble-Adams +3.273s
6 Morris +4.161s
7 Manson +5.419s
8 Simon Hunter +6.143s
9 Drake +6.745s
10 Davie
FL: Sceats, 1m35.457s

Race 3 (10 laps)
1 Sceats 16m09.198s
2 Christensen +4.235s
3 Scott +12.695s
4 Crosbie +12.894s
5 Noble-Adams +16.888s
6 Hunter +17.121s
7 Manson +17.362s
8 Bakkerus +17.585s
9 Drake +21.392s
10 Mason Potter +27.797s
FL: Sceats, 1m35.469s

Ron Frost Memorial Trophy (12 laps)
1 Sceats 20m14.731s
2 Christensen +0.805s
3 Crosbie +1.287s
4 Bakkerus +1.486s
5 Crawley +1.798s
6 Morris +3.032s
7 Manson +3.206s
8 Hunter +4.492s
9 Bo Hill +5.348s
10 Potter +7.589s
FL: Sceats, 1m35.792s

Championship standings
1 Sceats 302   2 Christensen 268   3 Crosbie 234   4 Noble-Adams 169   5 Manson 165   6 Morris 148   7 Hunter 145   8 Crawley 143   9 Bakkerus 142   10 Potter 122