Home Featured Liam Sceats wins the 2024 New Zealand Grand Prix

Liam Sceats wins the 2024 New Zealand Grand Prix

by Bethonie Waring

Photo: TGR NZ

Liam Sceats won the New Zealand Grand Prix with a dominant performance in the final race of the 2024 Formula Regional Oceania season.

Sceats resisted pressure from Callum Hedge for most of the 27-lap race at Highlands Motorsport Park, but had enough left to pull away in the closing stages to win by more than five seconds.

There was drama at the end when Roman Bilinski ran over the back of Bryce Aron’s car in a spectacular crash.

Bilinski and Aron had been running nose-to-tail through much of the race, and Bilinski was still pushing on the final lap. As they came out of the final corner, Aron just lost the rear end of his car slightly and hit the wall. He immediately slowed, too fast for Bilinski to avoid. The newly crowened champion ran over the back of Aron’s car as the two took the chequered flag in fifth and sixth.

It was the only significant crash in an otherwise trouble-free race, though a few other drivers did make slight contact with walls or each other.

Sceats was not one of these. He got a good start from pole position and led throughout. Hedge remained close behind for most of the race, but in the final 10 laps (which was the difference in length between the grand prix and the series’ regular races) did not have the pace to keep up with the leader. Sceats pulled away as Hedge fell into a battle with Michael Shin.

A strong start meant Shin rose from seventh to fourth in the opening laps. He went side-by-side with Jacob Abel and made slight contact with the American before finding a way past. He left Abel battling with Bilinski as he closed in on Hedge. Shin kept the pressure on towards the end but Hedge managed to hold on to finish second.

Another driver who made contact during the race was Gerard Xie. A wide moment on lap one meant he touched the barriers. There did not seem to be too much damage, but he came into the pits for checks and finished three laps down.  

Behind Bilinski and Aron, Alex Crosbie put in a strong defensive performance to hold off Ryder Quinn for seventh.

Race results (27 laps)
Pos Driver Team Time
1 Liam Sceats M2 Competition 40m32.226s
2 Callum Hedge MTEC Motorsport +5.656s
3 Michael Shin M2 Competition +6.069s
4 Jacob Abel MTEC Motorsport +7.237s
5 Roman Bilinski M2 Competition +9.694s
6 Bryce Aron M2 Competition +11.265s
7 Alex Crosbie Giles Motorsport +11.266s
8 Ryder Quinn M2 Competition +11.611s
9 Patrick Woods-Toth Kiwi Motorsport +15.094s
10 Elliott Cleary MTEC Motorsport +16.874s
11 Jett Bowling Kiwi Motorsport +19.332s
12 Sebastian Manson Giles Motorsport +24.364s
13 Landan Matriano Lim Giles Motorsport +29.935s
14 Lucas Fecury MTEC Motorsport +32.473s
15 Jake Bonilla Kiwi Motorsport +38.866s
16 Gerrard Xie M2 Competition +3 laps
Ret Titus Sherlock Kiwi Motorsport
DNS Kaleb Ngatoa Giles Motorsport
Fastest lap: Bilinski, 1m29.398s

Championship standings
1 Bilinski 385   2 Sceats 342   3 Woods-Toth 253   4 Shin 245   5 Xie 210   6 Crosbie 207   7 Ngatoa 205   8 Tommy Smith 144   9 Christian Mansell 135   10 Nico Lacorte 130