Home Featured Wurz reclaims FRegional Oceania lead as Hedge hits electrical issues

Wurz reclaims FRegional Oceania lead as Hedge hits electrical issues

by Bethonie Waring

Photo: TGR NZ

Charlie Wurz retook the Formula Regional Oceania points lead with victory in the reversed-grid race at Hampton Downs.  

Title rival Callum Hedge was taken out of contention before the end of the formation lap when an electrical problem brought him to a standstill. 

While Wurz waited on pole position, Hedge’s car came to a stop just before the grid. The team was unable to communicate via radio and the car was pushed back to the pits with what looked like a total battery failure. M2 Motorsport got to work on the car while the race got underway, and Hedge was able to get out five laps down. 

In the meantime, Wurz had held off Jacob Abel off the line. A fast-starting Brendon Lietch was not able to find a way past the front-row starters, but made it a three-way lead battle.

Racing was paused when Billy Frazer stopped on track after contact with Chloe Chambers left him with rear-left damage. 

After a brief safety car period, the battle between Wurz and Abel resumed. Leitch and Chris van der Drift would occasionally join the fight, but it was primarily a battle between the top two. 

Abel was able to get alongside Wurz at one point but could not quite make the move stick. Another move later in the race led to slight contact between them, but neither sustained any damage. 

In the closing stages, Laurens van Hoepen was slicing his way up through the order. A wide moment that sent him through the dust had not slowed his progress and he moved past Leitch to take third.  

The Dutch driver was looking to take the challenge to Abel in the final laps when a spin for Ryder Quinn left him stuck on track. The safety car was brought out with just one lap remaining. 

A victory for Wurz meant he reclaimed the championship lead from Hedge, who didn’t appear to have any more issues once out on track. Abel took his fourth podium of the season in second, with van Hoepen finishing third. 

Leitch took fourth ahead of van der Drift, Adam Fitzgerald and Liam Sceats. 

Race one winner Kaleb Ngatoa also had issues before the start of the race and had to start from the pitlane. Alongside Louis Foster, who started from the back of the grid, he spent the race climbing up through the order. Ngatoa would finish 13th, while Foster came home eighth.

Race results (19 laps)
Pos Driver Team Time
1 Charlie Wurz M2 Competition 31m54.128s
2 Jacob Abel Kiwi Motorsport +0.686s
3 Lauren van Hoepen M2 Competition +2.045s
4 Brendon Leitch Kiwi Motorsport +2.207s
5 Chris van der Drift Hamilton Motorsport +3.899s
6 Adam Fitzgerald Giles Motorsport +7.000s
7 Liam Sceats M2 Competition +8.720s
8 Louis Foster Giles Motorsport +10.250s
9 Josh Mason Kiwi Motorsport +10.679s
10 David Morales M2 Competition +11.550s
11 James Penrose Kiwi Motorsport +12.383s
12 Ryan Shehan Giles Motorsport +12.573s
13 Kaleb Ngatoa Giles Motorsport +16.771s
14 Chloe Chambers Giles Motorsport +17.282s
15 Lucas Fecury Kiwi Motorsport +17.692s
16 Bree Morris Giles Motorsport +20.426s
17 Ryder Quinn M2 Competition +1 lap
18 Callum Hedge M2 Competition +5 laps
Ret Billy Frazer Hamilton Motorsport
Fastest lap: Foster, 1m30.688s

Championship standings
Wurz 250   2 Hedge 233   3 Abel 220   4 Penrose 172   5 Sceats 165  6 Morales 162   7 Quinn 155   8 Mason 152   9 Shehan 139   10 Chambers 119