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Manson extends lead in South Island Formula Ford Series after four race wins at Teretonga

Seb Manson has dominated the third round of the 2023/24 Yokohama South Island Formula Ford Series presented by Team Hutchinson Ford this weekend in Invercargill. The Aucklander won all four races setting a new lap record of 1 minute 02.920 seconds. Caleb Byers of Rolleston took three seconds and a third to place second for the round with Dylan Petch third.

“Quite happy with that one,” commented Manson (Spectrum 015). “It’s been a pretty solid round where everything worked.”

The round held at Teretonga Park has seen a shakeup of the leaderboard with Manson increasing his lead over Petch (Ray GR20) to 102-points while Caleb Byers (Ray GR21) moves into third overall ahead of Izaak Fletcher (Ray GR20) who moved up from seventh, and Dan Kelly (Van Demen RF94) in fifth.

Fletcher has been the rookie to watch this season, improving at each round including taking his first podium finish at the Teretonga round.

Manson set a qualifying time of 1:03.306, winning the $500 Hampton Downs NZ Racing Academy cash prize for fastest qualifier. Second quickest was Caleb Byers with a 1:03.394 with rookie driver Izaak Fletcher (Ray GR20) third quickest with a 1:03.717.

“The first race went well,” said Manson. “I initially made a mistake off the start line and dropped behind Caleb (Byers). It took a couple of laps to catch and get by him and then I was able to create a gap.

“Race 2 was a better start, but Caleb was able to get ahead. This time I caught and passed him on the first lap and then again created a gap.

“The last two 12-lap races went more to plan, both times getting a jump on the start and leading to the end after creating a gap back to second.”

As well as overall honours, there are two classes within the single seater category. Manson leads Class 1 (>2000 year of manufacture) while Jacob Cunnliffe (Swift SC96) has increased his lead over rookie Jacob Begg (Van Diemen RF92) in Class 2 (1990-1999).

Also continuing to shine is Dan Kelly (Van Diemen RF94) who picked up the NAPA Auto Parts prize for ‘Driver of the Day’. Consistent results have moved him into fifth overall.

The Team Hutchinson Ford Prize also offer a package for the overall Class 1 and Class 2 winners. This year sees an exciting prize for the NZ Formula Ford Championship Class 2 winner after moving the Stealth cars into the Class 1 category. Toyota Gazoo Racing have put up an FT50 test for the winner of Class 2 to encourage these entry level drivers and cars back into Formula Ford.

The series takes a break over the Christmas New Year period before the penultimate round at the Timaru International Raceway, Timaru at the end of January.

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