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‘Vintage’ Formula Ford racing at Manfeild as NIFF season gets underway

Liam Sceats has had a perfect weekend setting fastest lap in qualifying and winning all three races at the opening round of the 2022/23 Giltrap North Island Formula Ford Series (NIFF) at Manfeild Circuit Chris Amon in Feilding over the weekend. What can only be described as ‘vintage Formula Ford racing’, Sceats had an element of luck to come out on top through competition that saw the lead change over multiple laps in all three races.

“A good weekend,” commented Sceats (Van Diemen Stealth). “A big thanks to Phil (Barrett) as the John Andrew’s Ford has been quick all weekend so good to have the results. Really happy how the season has started off.”

It was the final round of the Manawatu Car Club 75th Anniversary Winter Series which saw sixteen drivers take to the grid, including support from the Historic Formula Ford Club. Included in the field was current NZ Formula Ford champion, Alex Crosbie (Ray GR21) and a number of rookie drivers moving up from the Formula First category.

Sceats did not have everything his own way and had to battle both Crosbie, Blake Dowdall (Spectrum 015), Manson Potter (Van Diemen Stealth), Leo Scott (Spectrum 05), Dylan Grant (Van Diemen RF03) and Zac Blincoe (Mygale SJ07) across the three races with any of these drivers able to cross the line in first.

In fact, rookie driver Dylan Grant did cross the line first in Race 2, only to be disqualified due to a technical infringement. Again, in Race 3 he was also unlucky, coming together with race leader Sebastian Manson on the penultimate lap, resulting in Manson rolling and both retiring out of the results.

Sceats picks up the $500 cash prize for fastest qualifier provided by the Hampton Downs NZ Racing Academy and leads the overall points ahead of Blake Dowdall and Alex Crosbie.

The Series now heads to Pukekohe Park Raceway this coming weekend in Auckland. The second NIFF round takes place as one of the support categories for the Repco Supercars Championship event with up to 30 Formula Ford entries expected to take to the grid.

The award is part of the increased $66,000 prize pool from the Tony Quinn Foundation with funding for travel and testing opportunities with TOYOTA GAZOO Racing NZ. Qualifying and the first 10-lap race take place on Saturday with another 10-lap and a 12-lap race on Sunday. The Giltrap Group North Island Formula Ford Series is also supported by Yokohama, the Tony Quinn Foundation and NAPA Auto Parts.

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