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Petch focused on closing the gap at South Island Formula Ford Series round in Timaru

Currently sitting second overall in the Yokohama South Island Formula Ford Series presented by Team Hutchinson Ford, Dylan Petch is confident of closing the gap to the overall leader, Seb Manson, at the second round in Timaru on Saturday. Petch has plenty of experience around the Timaru International Raceway while Manson has only tested and not competed at the mid-Canterbury circuit.

“I love Timaru,” commented Petch (Ray GR20). “I’m really looking forward to both this and the round In Invercargill.” Buoyed by a positive result last weekend in Christchurch, Petch has made positive progress since last season, now fighting for race wins.

“I’ve done a lot of study and research into car setup,” said Petch. “Working full-time I don’t have the time to do the testing that some drivers are able to do. I’m applying the theory and working through the practicalities of it and getting some results.”

Manson (Spectrum 015) put his rivals on notice at the opening round in Christchurch last weekend by first setting fastest lap in qualifying and then winning all four races at the Wigram Revival meeting. While he has the confidence of a fast car, he hasn’t lost sight of the bigger picture, particularly competing in the national competition over the summer season of racing.

“I’ve done some testing but haven’t raced at Timaru as yet,” said Manson. “We need to tick this circuit off as we prepare for the nationals.”

Also to shine at the opening meeting were Caleb Byers (Ray GR21), Will Neale (Van Diemen Stealth) and Blake Knowles (Van Diemen RF05), all standing on the podium at least once and now sitting third to fifth overall respectively.

While there is only 127-points between first and fifth, success is first dependent on finishing every race and accumulating points. Timaru will host three races at the one-day meeting with a maximum of 227-points on offer (75 for a race win and two-points for fastest qualifier).

After practice first thing Saturday morning, drivers will compete for the fastest lap in qualifying and the $500 cash prize from the Hampton Downs NZ Racing as part of the $60,000 prize pool from the Tony Quinn Foundation with funding for travel and testing opportunities with TOYOTA GAZOO Racing NZ. NAPA Auto Parts are providing a prize for ‘Driver of the Day’ at each round.

Team Hutchinson Ford Prize will 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.

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