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Break-through Formula Ford wins for Knowles at Timaru

A superb weekend for Christchurch’s Blake Knowles has seen him take his break-through first race win in the 2022/23 Yokohama South Island Formula 1600 Championship after the second round at the Timaru International Raceway on Saturday. The Christchurch Boys High School student won all three races from NZ Formula Ford champion, Alex Crosbie, and now has the overall lead in the six-round series.

“It was awesome weekend,” commented Knowles. “My first pole in Formula Ford and then to top it off we won all three races.”

At the beginning of the one-day event, Knowles (Van Diemen RF05) pipped Crosbie (Ray GR21) for pole position by just 0.008 seconds winning the $500 Hampton Downs NZ Racing Academy cash prize for fastest qualifier.

“We had strong pace all weekend,” said Knowles. “Battling with Alex (Crosbie) was cool, he is a hard charger.”

While Knowles finished the day with three wins and Crosbie three second placings, it was the battle for the final podium position that produced some top performances for the round. Dylan Petch (Ray GR21) won the NAPA Auto Parts $230 cash prize for ‘Driver of the Day’ in his battle with Daniel Brown (Ray GR21). Petch claimed third place in the first two races while Brown beat him home in the final

Also making top five results were rookie drivers Will Neale (Van Diemen Stealth) and Caleb Byers (Ray GR21).

In the final 12-lap race of the day, Crosbie managed to eke out a lead over Knowles which he held for 10-laps, only to be caught and passed with under two laps remaining.

“I was initially battling with Daniel (Brown) in the first few laps until I got passed and got ahead of him. Alex (Crosbie) got a bit of a lead which I was able to bring back. We had a bit of a battle at the end and I managed to get passed and hold the lead to the end!”

Knowles now holds a 15-point lead over Crosbie while Petch has moved into third overall ahead of Daniel Brown and Caleb Byers.

Drivers and teams now have a break until the third round at Crosbie’s home track, Teretonga Park in Invercargill 3-4 December 2022.

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