Home Featured Sceats stays in FRegional Oceania title fight with Highlands race one win

Sceats stays in FRegional Oceania title fight with Highlands race one win

by Bethonie Waring

Photo: TGR NZ

Liam Sceats took a lights-to-flag victory in race one at Highlands Motorsport Park to keep the Formula Regional Oceania title fight going into the final day of the season.

Points leader Roman Bilinski only had to beat Sceats to become champion with two races to spare, but he finished third behind Callum Hedge.

Bilinski had topped Q1, but a session-stopping crash meant he got a grid penalty and started fourth rather than first. He passed Michael Shin off the line and stayed close behind guest entrant Hedge.

Hedge put up a good fight and managed to keep Bilinski at bay. Passing Hedge would not earn Bilinski any additonal points, but would allow him to chase after his sole title rival up front. However, Bilinski was unable to even pull alongside Hedge and actually fell back slightly in the race’s closing stages, finishing 0.74 seconds behind him.

Sceats meanwhile put in a faultless drive at the front. He set multiple fastest laps to take his second win of the season by 2.271s. While that result keeps the title fight alive until race two on Sunday, Sceats will need to finish in the top two in that race and realistically have Bilinski not score to make a final race title showdown possible.

After being passed at the start, Shin fell away from the podium battle early on but was closing in on the Hedge-Bilinski battle late in the race. He was less than a second behind Bilinski, but ran out of time before he could challenge for position. He finished comfortably ahead of Jacob Abel and Gerrard Xie in fifth and sixth.

The closest battle in the field was for seventh, with Patrick Woods-Toth holding off Bryce Aron and Elliot Cleary. Sebastian Manson managed to keep Jett Bowling at bay to finish 10th.

Kaleb Ngatoa missed the race due to car damage from a qualifying crash, and while away had his hand x-rayed at hospital.

Another driver with problems in qualifying was Titus Sherlock, who made it to the grid but then pulled into the pits early on with a mechanical problem. He was able to get back out, but finished three laps down.

Race results (18 laps)
Pos Driver Team Time
1 Liam Sceats M2 Competition 26m51.276s
2 Callum Hedge MTEC Motorsport +2.271s
3 Roman Bilinski M2 Competition +3.011s
4 Michael Shin M2 Competition +3.830s
5 Jacob Abel MTEC Motorsport +6.967s
6 Gerrard Xie M2 Competition +9.584s
7 Patrick Woods-Toth Kiwi Motorsport +14.068s
8 Bryce Aron M2 Competition +14.337s
9 Elliott Cleary MTEC Motorsport +14.866s
10 Sebastian Manson Giles Motorsport +16.393s
11 Jett Bowling Kiwi Motorsport +16.775s
12 Ryder Quinn M2 Competition +22.458s
13 Alex Crosbie Giles Motorsport +33.142s
14 Lucas Fecury MTEC Motorsport +40.536s
15 Landan Matriano Lim Giles Motorsport +40.794s
16 Jake Bonilla Kiwi Motorsport +41.175s
17 Titus Sherlock Kiwi Motorsport +3 laps
DNS Kaleb Ngatoa Giles Motorsport
Fastest lap: Sceats, 1m28.830s

Championship standings
1 Bilinski 347   2 Sceats 299   3 Woods-Toth 221   4 Shin 209   5 Ngatoa 205   6 Xie 194   7 Crosbie 184   8 Tommy Smith 144   9 Christian Mansell 135   10 Nico Lacorte 130