Christian Mansell took his first Formula Regional Oceania win in a wet reversed-grid race at Manfeild.
Rain was falling heavily before the start of the race, causing problems for championship leader Roman Bilinski, who had a malfunctioning rain light. It meant he was forced to pit for repairs and dropped off the lead lap.
However, Bilinski was far from the only driver to run into problems on the wet circuit. Gerrard Xie, starting second, span on the opening lap and it meant those behind him had to run wide to avoid his car.
Mansell came through the drama to take the lead from pole-sitter Patrick Woods-Toth and Kaleb Ngatoa. It was not long before Woods-Toth dropped behind Ngatoa and Tommy Smith, and soon had Liam Sceats challenging him for position.
Meanwhile, any advantage Mansell had over Ngatoa was reduced to nothing after an off for Lucas Fecury. The MTEC Motorsport driver ran wide between turns three and four and came to a stop. Flames briefly emerged from the back of his car, but extinguished themselves quickly. Fecury was able to get going under his own power, but the safety car had already been summoned.
Mansell made a good getaway when racing resumed at the start of lap seven, but a small mistake allowed Ngatoa to get alongside him. Ngatoa could not quite stay there, and dropped back behind the race leader. He was kept at arms length thereon, and finished 0.686 seconds behind Mansell.
The pair were both comfortably ahead of Tommy Smith in third. Woods-Toth held onto fourth, while Sceats dropped behind Nico Lacorte to sixth in the second half of the race.
There were a few other offs, including another for Fecury, who at one point came to a full stop on the grass, but there would be no more yellow flag incidents. By the end of the race, the track had dried significantly.
Alex Crosbie avoided the early drama to finish seventh ahead of Titus Sherlock, Elliot Clearly and the recovering Xie.
Race results (22 laps)
|Landan Matriano Lim
|Fastest lap: Ngatoa, 1m07.898s