Billy Frazer has continued on his winning way taking round honours at the 2019/20 North Island Formula Ford season opener held at Pukekohe Park Raceway over the weekend.
Entries included last seasons winner Callum Crawley, and 2019 Winter series champion Billy Frazer, both in their Spectrum 015 machines. Right behind them in Class 1 was Ronan Murphy in his own Spectrum, and Alex Hawley who returned to defend his Class 2 title.
Cameron Tanner lined up on the grid chasing the top spot in Class 2, along with Jordan Mountfort in his Stealth.
Representing Class 3 and showing the diversity of the Formula Ford grid was Martin Lucas, fresh off a strong weekend at Hampton Downs a week prior in the Historic Formula Ford series.
A damp track greeted the field for qualifying, with the first few laps spent finding the grip levels of the newly resurfaced front straight, and trying to get a clean lap amongst the sports cars (the two classes sharing a grid for the weekend).
There were a few troubles for the stealth duo of Jordan Mountfort and Alex Hawley, with spins around the back of the circuit, Hawley bringing out the red flag as he got beached on the curb at the hairpin.
At the end of the 10 minutes, it was Crawley on top by over a second, Frazer and Murphy completing the top trio. Alex Halwey qualified fourth, but would start race 1 from 7th due to a grid drop for bringing out the red flag. Tanner was 5th after carburetor issues had prevented a full flying lap, followed by Mountfort and Lucas.
A strong opening lap saw Billy Frazer take the lead in race 1, while Murphy and Tanner scuffled over third place behind. Hawley had a blinder of a start to jump Mountfort and Lucas, and set about regaining the lost ground to the leading pack just as a safety car was called for a stricken sports car on lap 2.
Frazer led the field to green, however Callum Crawley would find a way past the 16 year-old to take the race lead. Not being able to hang on to the front three, Tanner and Hawley were in a scrap of their own, before an unfortunate error at turn 2 saw Tanner run wide and find the tyre wall on the outside of turn 3.
The safety car and subsequently a red flag was called to retrieve the stricken Van Diemen, leaving Crawley to take the win ahead of Frazer, Murphy, Hawley, Lucas and Mountfort.
With the grid for race 2 set from the fastest time of the day, it was Murphy who took pole position from Crawley and Frazer. Hawley would complete row 2, followed by Lucas and Mountfort.
Crawley got the jump on lap 1 to take the lead, but it was not long before a hard charging Frazer would move past Callum, managing to stay out front the whole race. It was not without trying though, the lack of a safety car resulting in the field having to deal with the slower sports cars in the latter stages of the race, a remarkably tricky situation given the speed a sports car can carry in a straight line.
Murphy was the first to be caught out, losing valuable seconds to the leaders as he was forced to follow a lapped car through the turn 1-4 complex, however it would also affect Crawley and Frazer a few laps later.
It was not a race without incident however, a costly spin at turn 1 saw Hawley just find the inside wall, unfortunately with enough force to damage the car beyond repair for the day, with Alex out of harm’s way and the car deemed to be safe, the race finished without further incident, with Mountfort and Lucas sparing for fourth and fifth up until the checkered flag
The final race of the day was a trouble free run, a strong showing by Frazer saw him take the win, 2.5 seconds clear of Crawley. Third was once again Murphy’s, capping off a strong weekend for the Hawks Bay driver. Jordan Mountfort got the better of Martin Lucas once again to come home fourth, the pair rounding out the now 5 car field.
Overall, Billy Frazer now leads the standings on 57 points, with Crawley close behind with 55. Ronan Murphy sits on 42, Mountfort on 34, Lucas with 33 and Alex Hawley with 12 points rounds out the scorers for the weekend.
The series now sets its sights on Chris Amon Manfeild circuit next weekend (October 19th-20th), where it joins forces with the New Zealand Formula Ford Championship at the Octoberfast meeting. Entries are free for spectators and there is a massive range of crowd pleasing classes in attendance!