Noble-Adams wins round as Freeman takes over lead in South Island Formula 1600 Champs
Dunedin’s Cameron Freeman is the new leader of the 2019/20 South Island Formula 1600 Championship after the fourth round held at Teretonga Park, Invercargill, over the weekend. A strong performance from Christchurch’s Jack Noble-Adams has seen him take his first-round win in a championship that is becoming increasingly competitive. Just 55-points separate the top five drivers.
Three podiums including his second race victory gave Noble-Adams (Van Diemen Stealth) a narrow win from Nelson’s Matt Butchart ((Van Diemen Stealth) with current 2019/20 NZ Formula Ford championship leader James Penrose (Van Diemen Stealth) in third. Each enjoying a race win.
“Thrilled to get the round win,” commented Noble-Adams. “We had some issues on Friday to get sorted with the engine cooling so thrilled with the results. I’ve said all along that the car has the pace which we showed this weekend. I’m sure the racing is going to be very close heading into the final three rounds.”
Overall points leader Bailey Paterson was absent from the grid due to ther commitments leaving the door wide open for his rivals to take over the series with just three rounds left. Freeman (Van Diemen RF92) did enough to gain a 25-point advantage finishing fourth, second and seventh.
Penrose is currently competing in the national Formula Ford Championship and has elected to enter two of the South Island rounds. The Cantabrian won the prestigious Wigram Cup a fortnight ago and chose to compete at Teretonga in the lead up to the next national round there in January.
“It has been a valuable weekend for me and I know what we need to work on which is beneficial,” Penrose said.
On Saturday morning it was Butchart who set the bench mark recording a time of 1:03.928 to take pole position ahead of Penrose (1:04.065), Noble-Adams (1:04.153) and Anna Collins (1:04.983). However, it was Penrose who took the first race win passing Noble-Adams on the last lap winning by 1/100th of a second with Butchart third.
In a wet race 2 on Sunday morning, Penrose held the lead until he made a mistake going into the Elbow (corner) and went off, limping back through the field to finish sixth. Butchart took his first SI F1600 win from Freeman and Noble-Adams.
In the final 12-lap feature race in the dry, it was Noble-Adams who took his second win of the season which also sealed his first-round win.
Heading into the Christmas break, Freeman now leads from Paterson with rookie driver Zac Christensen (Van Diemen RF92) third and Noble-Adams fourth ahead of Collins.
Within the category there are three separate Classes. With Auckland’s Grant Campbell absent from the round, Christchurch’s Steve Edwards (Mygale SJ08) resumes the lead in Class 1 (post 2000), Freeman leads Class 2 (1990-1999)from Paterson, Christensen and Noble-Adams. In the Historic Class 3, rookie Ryan Low (Van Diemen RF88) leads from Andy Downs (Lola 642E) and Noel Atley (Crossle 55F).
The series will get underway in the New Year with two rounds over consecutive weekends in January as a support category in the Speed Works Summer Series.