Freeman poised to take over lead in South Island F1600 Championship
Dunedin’s Cameron Freeman is in the box seat to take over the lead in the 2019/20 South Island Formula 1600 Championship from Christchurch’s Bailey Paterson. Due to other commitments, Paterson will be absent from the fourth round at Teretonga Park in Invercargill this weekend. With a maximum of 40-points for each of three races available at the two-day event, Freeman (Van Diemen RF92) has the opportunity to make up the 60-point deficit and take over the lead heading into the Christmas break.
The ‘fly-in-the-ointment’ for Freeman could be current leader of the national championship Christchurch’s James Penrose (Van Diemen Stealth) who will make his second appearance in the Series. Penrose is competing in the 2019/20 New Zealand Formula Ford Championship and has elected to compete in several of the South Island series rounds. He is the form driver heading to Invercargill having won two races at the third round held a fortnight ago in Christchurch, including the feature Wigram Cup race. With Bailey (Van Diemen Stealth) absent from the grid, Penrose could potentially win all three races thus reducing any points advantage that Freeman may take.
Also proving very quick this season are rookie Zac Christensen (Van Diemen RF92) and Jack Noble-Adams (Van Diemen Stealth). Fourth on the points table behind Christensen, Noble-Adams won pole position at the second round in Timaru and took his first category race win. Two second places at the Wigram Cup meeting has shown he has the speed, but reliability has been an issue in three of the nine races this season.
“I’m really pleased with the speed we have this season,” commented Noble-Adams. “It continues to give me confidence that we can run at the front.”
Christensen has been consistent with nine top ten places putting him 21-points behind Freeman. Also showing both consistency and rivalry for a top five position are Steve Donaldson (Van Diemen RF90) and Anna Collins (Van Diemen Stealth). There are just three points separating the two. The two are 20-points ahead of a fast-improving rookie Ryan Low who is driving an older South Island Formula Ford Club Scholarship Van Diemen RF88.
The category is made up of three Classes competing for separate honours. Auckland’s Grant Campbell (Van Diemen RF03) has a 93-point lead over Christchurch’s Steve Edwards (Mygale SJ08) in Class 1 (post 2000). In Class 2 (1990-1999) Paterson has a 60-point lead over Freeman followed by Christensen, Donaldson and Collins. In the Historic Class 3 (pre-1990) Low continues to lead from Noel Atley (Crossle 55F) who will be looking for home advantage at Teretonga and reducing a 61-point gap.
A field of over 20 cars are expected to take to the grid before the Christmas break. The championship will have two consecutive rounds as part of the Speed Works summer series meetings in January. Fields of between 35-40 cars are expected to take to the grid at both Highlands Motorsport Park in Cromwell 17-19 January, and again at Teretonga Park, Invercargill, 24-26 January 2020.