Michael Shin dominated Formula Regional Oceania’s reversed-grid race at Ruapuna to take his first win in the championship.
Shin was involved in an incident on the opening lap, making slight contact with Patrick Woods-Toth, but was untouchable from that point onwards.
Woods-Toth got a good start from second on the grid and was alongside Shin when the two made contact. He dropped slightly backwards behind Gerrard Xie, while Shin pushed forwards. The incident was investigated by the stewards. Shin spent the remainder of the race pushing hard to extend his lead and negate any possible penalty.
Within a handful of laps, he was almost five seconds clear of Xie, who had a growing train of drivers behind him. By the end of the race, Shin had a lead of 12.727 seconds.
Xie was put under pressure by Woods-Toth through the first half of the race. However, a charging Romain Bilinski would change this dynamic. Bilinski had come from eighth on the grid to sit in fourth after a handful of laps, having made some impressive moves up the inside at the hairpin.
After looking unstoppable in the opening laps, the points leader’s charge forward was halted by Woods-Toth who put up a good defense for third. Bilinski was able to get alongside a handful of times but could not quite get ahead.
The battle allowed Xie their clutches and finish 1.639s clear. Woods-Toth managed to hold onto third, leaving Bilinski to record only his second non-podium finish of the season.
Liam Sceats was not able to take advantage of this. Bilinski’s title rival had tried to get ahead on the opening lap, but found himself stuck behind Jacob Abel. He was unable to progress from there and finished eighth.
Kaleb Ngatoa had been part of the train of drivers behind Xie early on, but could not keep up with the pace. He fell away from the trio ahead to finish fifth, comfortably ahead of Alex Crosbie in sixth.
Sebastian Manson was the biggest mover in the field. Having missed the opening race of the weekend as he was yet to confirm his participation in the event, Giles Motorsport’s debutant started from the back of the grid. He was able to climb up to 11th by the chequered flag, behind Jett Bowling and Bryce Aron.
Race results (20 laps)
|Landan Matriano Lim
|Fastest lap: Shin, 1m17.493s