Top talented field set to compete for NZ Formula Ford titles at Timaru this weekend
What is arguably the most competitive field of up-and-coming single seater drivers will take to the grid this weekend at the opening round of the 2024 NAPA Auto Parts New Zealand Formula Ford Championship. Timaru International Raceway in Timaru hosts the four-race opening round that has attracted a depth of talent and experience not seen for some time. The four round, 14-race championship has attracted drivers from both the North and South Island Formula Ford Series, with each Island hosting two events with the finale to take place as a support category for the New Zealand Supercars round at Taupo 19-21 April 2024.
“We are thrilled with the number and talented entries for this season’s championship,” commented series managers Shane Drake and Andy Robertson. “There is a accomplished dozen who are capable of standing on any step of the podium, while a good handful of them will be vying for the title.
“Seb Manson, who currently leads the South Island Series, along with the current leader of the North Island series, Dylan Grant, will be a couple to watch. Then you have Will Neale, Caleb Byers, Zach Blincoe, Blake Knowles, Dylan Petch and rookie Izaak Fletcher who are all capable of being at the pointy end of every race. There is the potential for some fantastic racing right throughout the field.”
For the first time in two years the newly revised Class 2 Championship will be running again with South Islanders Cameron Freeman, Jacob Cunliffe and Cameron Tanner running their 1990-99-year cars with the winner receiving a FT50 test, thanks to Toyota Racing.
The Timaru Super Truck meeting, the second biggest motorsport event in the South Island will have a livestream in association with the South Canterbury Car Club. A fortnight later Round 2 takes place as a support category at the Super Sprint meeting at the Euromarque Motorsport Park in Christchurch, before the final two rounds in the North Island.
Manfeild Circuit Chris Amon in Feilding hosts Round 3 as part of the Manfeild Super Truck meeting 5-7 April 2024, before the finale two-weeks later in Taupo as part of the Repco Supercars Championship round.
Drivers will face three 10-lap and 1 x 12-lap races over the weekend with a $1,010,10 cash prize for fastest qualifier provided by the Hampton Downs NZ Racing Academy which also provides a travel fund for competitors.
The winner of the overall title will receive a fully funded two-day Formula 4 test in the US with Kiwi Motorsport. They will also have a FT60 test compliments of the Tony Quinn Foundation.
The 2024 NZ Formula Ford Championship includes the prestigious Morrie Smith Memorial Trophy up for grabs at the final race of the third round. The Ron Frost Memorial Trophy will be contested at the final race of Round 4 and the Stephen Gillard Memorial Trophy will be awarded to the highest placed Rookie at the end of the championship.
The NZ Formula Ford Championship is also supported by NAPA Auto Parts, Yokohama and the Tony Quinn Foundation.