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Second Wigram Cup win for Bethune at F1600 round

Auckland’s Josh Bethune has won the prestigious Wigram Cup for the second consecutive year with a dominant performance at the Mike Pero Motorsport Park in Christchurch over the weekend. The 12-lap feature race was part of the second round of the New Zealand Formula 1600 Championship. Second home was US driver Spike Kohlbecker ahead of Zac Stichbury from Hawke’s Bay.

“It’s quite cool to go two years in a row winning such a prestigious trophy,” commented Bethune. “Spike (Kohlbecker) put a lot of pressure on me and lapped traffic was not great particularly coming into the last corner. We have now gone back to back wins and still lead the championship.”

It was Kohlbecker who initially took the lead after a sensational start on a wet and slippery track, jumping from fifth to first before the first corner.

“It’s been a great weekend,” commented Kohlbecker. “We worked to improve over the last two days. I got a great start in the feature race, my first wet weather start. I had a bit of wheel spin but was able to control it.”

But Bethune’s experience took over and he was able to regain the lead at the hairpin which he didn’t relinquish until the chequered flag 12 laps later.

Twenty-eight cars took to the track for the three-race weekend that also doubled as the fourth round of the South Island Formula 1600 championships. While Southland’s Jordan Michels set the fastest lap in qualifying it was rookie James Penrose that won the first race on Saturday afternoon from Bethune and Michels. A second and fourth in the following two races gave Penrose the round win from Bethune and Michels.

“Overall I couldn’t be happier with the weekend, the car, the team and the results,” commented Penrose.

Michels went on to win an eventful race two on Sunday morning with Penrose second and Kohlbecker third. The 10-lap race was interrupted by three safety car periods. The red flag was brought out on lap eight after Gary Love’s Van Diemen RF88 spun off the track hitting the inside wall just past the start/finish line. The race was eventually restarted but finished under safety car conditions.

While the top five or six cars battled for podium places, others fought amongst themselves and for class honours within the category.

Rookie Callum Crawley from Feilding successfully debuted his brand-new Spectrum 015 finishing eighth, fourth and sixth. Christchurch’s Bailey Paterson is usually fighting for a podium but found himself fighting an electrical gremlin all weekend and recorded three ‘did-not-finishes’ (DNF).

Two other international drivers were also competing in the field.  Australian Kyle Gurton had two top ten results in the ex-Michael Collins Stealth while UK’s Ben Stiles finished three times in the top ten.

The overall national championship continues to be led by Bethune from Penrose, Michels and Stiles. Bethune also leads Class 1 from Michels and Stichbury. Penrose leads Class 2 from Stiles and Cameron Freeman while Noel Atley continues to lead Class 3 from Andy Downs and Roger McKenzie.

The third round takes place this coming weekend at Teretonga, Invercargill, which also doubles as the fifth and penultimate round of the South Island championship.




NZ F1600 Championship Overall Points 2/5 rounds (top 15)
1 Josh Bethune 214
2 James Penrose 208
3 Jordan Michels 201
4 Ben Stiles 128
5 Zac Stichbury 127
6 Callum Crawley 119
7 Cameron Freeman 108
8 Jack Noble-Adams 107
9 Robert Toshach 104
10 Spike Kohlbecker 94
11 Simon Spencer-Bower 73
12 Steve Edwards 70
13 Ethan Anderson 68
14 Noel Atley 66
15 Andy Downs 57

SI F1600 Championship Overall Points 4/6 rounds (Top 10)
1 Josh Bethune 448
2 Jordan Michels 375
3 James Penrose 341
4 Jack Noble-Adams 257
5 Cameron Freeman 248
5 Ben Stiles 220
7 Zac Stichbury 209
8 Bailey Paterson 186
9 Robert Toshach 182
10 Steve Edwards 167

Qualifying (Including the Dipper)
1 Jordan Michels Mygale SJ13 1:37.615
2 James Penrose VD Stealth 1:37.805
3 Zac Stichbury Mygale SJ08a 1:37.848
4 Spike Kohlbecker Mygale SJ08a 1:38.202
5 Josh Bethune Ray GR17 1:38.378
6 Bailey Paterson VD Stealth 1:38.405
7 Kurt Peterson VD Stealth 1:38.901
8 Ben Stiles VD Stealth 1:39.344
9 Jack Noble-Adams VD Stealth 1:39.454
10 Callum Crawley Spectrum 1:39.546
11 Kyle Gurton VD RF91 1:40.236
12 Cameron Freeman VD RF92 1:40.269
13 Robert Toshach Spectrum 08 1:41.037
14 Simon Spencer-Bower VD Stealth 1:41.188
15 Dyson Freeman VD RF92 1:41.544
16 Andy Downs Lola 642e 1:41.806
17 Grant Campbell VD RF03 1:41.823
18 Noel Atley Crossle 55F 1:42.569
19 Steve Edwards Mygale SJ08a 1:42.614
20 Corey Hodges VD RF92 1:42.899
21 Dominic Robertson VD RF92 1:43.343
22 Steve Heffernan VD Stealth 1:43.505
23 Graham Dickie Begg FM3 1:45.117
24 Greg Inwood VD RF 91 1:45.135
25 Gary Love VD RF88 1:47.149
26 Roger McKenzie Begg FM3 1:48.405
27 Dave MCKenzie Begg FM3 1:49.056
28 Blake Evans Mygale SJ11 No time

Race 1 results (10 laps)
1 James Penrose
2 Josh Bethune
3 Jordan Michels
4 Spike Kohlbecker
5 Zac Stichbury
6 Kurt Peterson
7 Jack Noble-Adams
8 Callum Crawley
9 Ben Stiles
10 Cameron Freeman
11 Grant Campbell
12 Simon Spencer-Bower
13 Dyson Freeman
14 Robert Toshach
15 Noel Atley
16 Dominic Robertson
17 Steve Edwards
18 Corey Hodges
19 Steve Heffernan
20 Andy Downs
21 Gary Love
22 Roger McKenzie
23 Dave MCKenzie
DNF Graham Dickie
DNF Greg Inwood
DNF Kyle Gurton
DNF Bailey Paterson
DNS Blake Evans

Race 2 (10 laps)
1 Jordan Michels
2 James Penrose
3 Spike Kohlbecker
4 Callum Crawley
5 Josh Bethune
6 Ben Stiles
7 Robert Toshach
8 Cameron Freeman
9 Kyle Gurton
10 Grant Campbell
11 Simon Spencer-Bower
12 Dyson Freeman
13 Andy Downs
14 Steve Edwards
15 Noel Atley
16 Steve Heffernan
17 Roger McKenzie
18 Dominic Robertson
19 Greg Inwood
20 Dave MCKenzie
21 Zac Stichbury
DNF Corey Hodges
DNF Gary Love
DNF Blake Evans
DNF Graham Dickie
DNF Bailey Paterson
DNF Kurt Peterson
DNF Jack Noble-Adams

Race 3 (12 laps) – Wigram Cup
1 Josh Bethune
2 Spike Kohlbecker
3 Zac Stichbury
4 James Penrose
5 Jordan Michels
6 Callum Crawley
7 Jack Noble-Adams
8 Cameron Freeman
9 Kyle Gurton
10 Ben Stiles
11 Kurt Peterson
12 Simon Spencer-Bower
13 Dyson Freeman
14 Robert Toshach
15 Andy Downs
16 Grant Campbell
17 Steve Edwards
18 Noel Atley
19 Steve Heffernan
20 Dominic Robertson
21 Corey Hodges
22 Greg Inwood
23 Dave MCKenzie
24 Roger McKenzie
DNF Blake Evans
DNS Bailey Paterson

2018/19 New Zealand Formula 1600 Championship Calendar
Rnd 1 10 November 2018 Timaru International Motor Raceway
Rnd 2 12-13 January 2019 Mike Pero Motorsport Park, Christchurch
Rnd 3 18-20 January 2019 Teretonga Park, Invercargill
Rnd 4 23-24 February 2019 Manfeild Circuit, Manawatu
Rnd 5 3 March 2019 Pukekohe Park Raceway, Pukekohe

2018/19 South Island Formula 1600 Championship Calendar
Rnd 1: October 27-28 2018, Mike Pero Motorsport Park, Ruapuna, Christchurch
Rnd 2: November 10 2018, Timaru International Raceway, Timaru (also Rd 1 NZ Formula 1600 Championship)
Rnd 3: December 1-2 2018, Teretonga Park Raceway, Invercargill
Rnd 4: January 12-13 2019, Mike Pero Motorsport Park, Ruapuna (also Rd 2 NZ Formula Ford Championship)
Rnd 5: January 18-20 2019, Teretonga Park Raceway, Invercargill; (also Rd 3 NZ Formula Ford Championship)
Rnd 6: April 6 2019, Timaru International Raceway, Timaru

Attached images are free to use. Please credit Craig Crew

Prepared by SB Networks on behalf of the South Island Formula Ford Club

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