Liam Foster’s surprise burst of pace saw him clean sweep round four of the 2017/18 Hi-Q Components NZ Formula First Championship and burst into championship contention. The Papatoetoe student’s dominant display moved him into second place on the championship ladder, just nine points from the lead!
On Saturday morning it was the Kapiti Coast’s Brody McConkey who was fastest, marking his return to the class by taking Pole Position. Chris Symon’s incontestable pace at Taupo landed him a front row start in front of Conrad Clark and Kaleb Ngatoa.
Foster stormed to victory his maiden victory in race ten of the series. Symon was no match for the maiden race winner, finishing nearly one second behind him in second. Championship leader Ngatoa recorded a podium finish in third.
Pole sitter McConkey would finish fourth ahead of Callum Crawley after the duo and Ngatoa all fought for the final podium position.
Just outside the top five Billy Frazer, Amy Smith and Taylor Hurst upheld an incredibly dynamic battle for sixth position. The trio traded positions for the majority of the race with Smith beating home Frazer and Hurst.
The other big talking point of the race was the retirement of the championship contenders, Reece Hendl-Cox and Conrad Clark. Hendl-Cox slowed on lap three while local boy Clark starting smoking severely on halfway into the race, forcing him to retire the next lap.
It was another dominant performance for Foster in race 11, stretching out a 1.7-second gap to second-placed Ngatoa. The win and a disappointing result for Crawley put Foster into second in the championship.
The final spot on the podium was more closely contested with Clark, Symon and Hendl-Cox all duking it out over the second half of the race. Scoring the position was crucial for Hendl-Cox and Clark who both suffered DNF’s in yesterdays race. In the end, it would be Palmerston North’s Symon who took third over Clark and Hendl-Cox respectively.
Race 12 was not as plain sailing for Foster, as young gun Billy Frazer marched through the field to catch Foster in the dying laps, only to fall just short at the line.
Foster and Brody McConkey quickly broke away and put a sizeable gap on the rest of the field until McConkey fell back and joined in on a bunched up battle for second. This then saw an eight-car train form with McConkey, Symon, Crawley, Smith, Ngatoa, Clark, Hendl-Cox and Frazer.
McConkey and Clark broke out into their own little battle for third, Clark seemed to have the upper hand for most of it but McConkey was able to put his #23 ahead at the flag.
The championship now south for round five of the championship at Manfeild Circuit Chris Amon for the New Zealand Grand Prix. In the meantime, round highlights can be viewed at www.formulafirst.co.nz/tv .