Home Featured Mansell takes first FRegional Oceania victory in wet conditions

Mansell takes first FRegional Oceania victory in wet conditions

by Bethonie Waring

Photo: TGR NZ

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)
Pos Driver Team Time
1 Christian Mansell Giles Motorsport 26m51.559s
2 Kaleb Ngatoa Giles Motorsport +0.686s
3 Tommy Smith MTEC Motorsport +6.078s
4 Patrick Woods-Toth Kiwi Motorsport +9.617s
5 Nico Lacorte M2 Competition +16.207s
6 Liam Sceats M2 Competition +17.477s
7 Alex Crosbie Giles Motorsport +19.183s
8 Titus Sherlock Kiwi Motorsport +26.671s
9 Elliott Cleary MTEC Motorsport +28.225s
10 Gerrard Xie M2 Competition +28.772s
11 Landan Matriano Lim Giles Motorsport +29.028s
12 Michael Shin M2 Competition +30.300s
13 Jett Bowling Kiwi Motorsport +35.240s
14 Kaden Probst MTEC Motorsport +36.547s
15 Jake Bonilla Kiwi Motorsport +37.533s
16 Lucas Fecury MTEC Motorsport +1 lap
17 Roman Bilinski M2 Competition +2 laps
Fastest lap: Ngatoa, 1m07.898s

Championship standings
1 Bilinski 123   2 Mansell 105   3 Sceats 100   4 Ngatoa 86   5 Shin 78   6 Crosbie 77   7 Xie 72   8 Smith 72   9 Lacorte 68   10 Woods-Toth 59