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Manson wins 2023/24 South Island Formula Ford title

Seb Manson (Spectrum 015) has won the 2023/24 Yokohama South Island Formula Ford Series presented by Team Hutchinson Ford after an eventful final round in Christchurch. Second overall was Caleb Byers (Ray GR21) with Dylan Petch (Van Diemen Stealth) third ahead of rookie Izzak Fletcher (Ray GR20) and Will Neale (Van Diemen Stealth). Manson also wins the Class 1 title while Jacob Cunniffe (Swift SC96K) has beaten home Jacob Begg (Van Diemen RF92) for the Class 2 title.

“Pleased to have won the title,” commented Manson. “Everything went pretty well with no real hiccups so that’s pretty cool.“

Manson has proved to be the one to beat this season winning 13/18 races and setting four out of five fastest laps in qualifying, each time winning a $500 Hampton Downs NZ Racing Academy cash prize for fastest qualifier.

While initially Dylan Petch, Blake Knowles (Van Diemen RF05) and Will Neale took the fight to him, he never let go of his control over the series. With both Knowles and Neale choosing to race in the North Island in preparation for the national championship and missing the third round at Teretonga, this gave even more certainty to Manson’s eventual success.

Seven podiums across the season including a race win (provisional) promoted Byers to second overall. Byers has provisionally won the final race of the season which is still under appeal after Manson and Knowles touched sending the former out of the race.

“It’s a good result, particularly after last weekend at Timaru,” commented Byers. “Pretty happy with a win and a podium in Christchurch. The boys have done a really good job on the car so really happy.”

Rookie of the season went to Izaak Fletcher who stood on the podium four times.

“I’ve definitely gone better than expected with some top racing out there,” said Fletcher. “The season has gone really well so really pleased with that.”

Jacob Cunniffe has won the Class 2 title and was awarded Driver of the Day taking home the $300 prize provided by NAPA Auto Parts.

The involvement of Team Hutchinson Ford has helped lift the series to another level along with their prize package of $1,000 for first, $500 for second and $250 for third, for both Class 1 and Class 2 winners.

Also acknowledged is the Hampton Downs NZ Racing fastest qualifier prize at each round and the Tony Quinn Foundation with funding for travel and testing opportunities with TOYOTA GAZOO Racing NZ and NAPA Auto Parts for providing a prize for ‘Driver of the Day’ at each round.

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