Crosslink/Kiwi Motorsport’s Ryan Shehan started the 2023 Formula Regional Americas season at NOLA Motorsports Park.
Shehan, who raced in Formula 4 last year and started 2023 by racing in FRegional Oceania, set the pace in qualifying by 0.463 seconds over Nick Persing.
He continued that advantage into race one, maintaining a gap of 0.6 to 1.2 seconds to Cameron Racing’s Nick Persing through the first half of the 16-lap encounter. He started to grow that slightly until lap 12, when he doubled his advantage to 3.5s.
Persing then had a big lock-up at turn one, running off-track and leading to him spending the rest of the race holding off Cooper Becklin. That battle allowed Shehan to break away even more, eventually winning by 9.191s.
Oliver Westling finished fourth, and Bryson Morris survived a lap one clash with Hayden Bowlsbey and a mid-race off-track excursion to finish fifth. Bowlsbey spun out of the race.
Shehan led lights-to-flag in race two, with Persing running in second until he went off into retirement halfway through. That promoted Becklin to second, with Morris and Callum Hedge several further seconds back in third and fourth.
Hedge spent lap after lap sat behind Morris, and when he finally got past he then rapidly closed in on Becklin and attacked him until the finish but could not find a way past. Bowlsbey had an early off and later retired in the pits.
Race three victory went to Hedge by a big 5.957s margin, although he was actually pressured closely by Persing through the first half of the race.
Westling and Bowlsbey went side-by-side and both spun on lap one, and on lap four Shehan started to come under pressure from Morris for fourth. The pair then closed in on third-placed Becklin, who had started the race from pole position, and spent much of the second half of the race stuck behind him despite multiple lock-ups from the car ahead.
The action got so close that it led to Shehan being rear-ended by Morris on lap 13 of 19, then two laps later he rear-ended Becklin after one of his lock-ups.
Shehan finally found a way past Becklin at turn two on lap 17, with the latter then making another error and falling down the order. So much time had been lost for the cars immediately behind Becklin that Westling and Bowlsbey were able to join the fight for third through the last laps.
Race 1 (16 laps)
1 Ryan Shehan Crosslink/Kiwi Motorsport 25m42.914s
2 Nick Persing Cameron Racing +9.191s
3 Cooper Becklin Crosslink/Kiwi Motorsport +9.635s
4 Oliver Westling Jensen Global Advisors +22.040s
5 Bryson Morris Crosslink/Kiwi Motorsport +24.376s
6 Callum Hedge Crosslink/Kiwi Motorsport +29.546s
7 Manuel Roza Crosslink/Kiwi Motorsport +32.573s
8 Kevin Janzen Crosslink/Kiwi Motorsport +1m36.645s
9 Max Hewitt IGY6 Motorsports +2 laps
Ret Austin Hill Austin Hill Motorsports
Pole: Shehan, 1m34.348s
Fastest lap: Shehan, 1m35.421s
Race 2 (16 laps)
1 Shehan 25m47.334s
2 Becklin +3.632s
3 Hedge +3.719s
4 Morris +4.589s
5 Westling +30.653s
6 Roza +51.479s
7 Janzen +1 lap
8 Hewitt +2 laps
9 Hayden Bowlsbey IGY6 Motorsports +4 laps
FL: Becklin, 1m35.686s
Race 3 (19 laps)
1 Hedge 31m01.335s
2 Persing +5.957s
3 Shehan +28.798s
4 Roza +28.896s
5 Morris +30.846s
6 Bowlsbey +30.977s
7 Westling +32.020s
8 Hill +47.375s
9 Hewitt +48.031s
10 Janzen +1m27.849s
FL: Persing, 1m36.774s
1 Shehan 65 2 Hedge 48 3 Persing 36 4 Becklin 33 5 Morris 32 6 Westling 28 7 Roza 26 8 Janzen 11 9 Bowlsbey 10 10 Hewitt 8