Thomas Boniface has won a cracking race at Hampton Downs! The drama started before the race even began when James Penrose and his team discovered that they had a collapsed bearing in their gearbox.
Some excellent comradery amongst the NZ Formula Ford paddock saw Penrose get back out on track for the race though, albeit in Tony Graham’s car. The change in car meant he had to start from the back of the grid but it still allowed him to recover some all-important championship points.
The early lead went to Boniface as he Zac Stichbury, Billy Frazer and Callum Crawley battled for the honours. Meanwhile, Penrose set about charging his way through the pack to recover as many positions and therefore points as possible.
Ronan Murphy bought out a safety car on lap five as he encountered an issue which left him and his car stranded on the side of the track just before the dipper. This allowed the field to bunch up and give a small reprieve to Boniface’s engine which was starting to emit smoke.
Upon the restart, Boniface stretched out to the huge lead as his engine saved it’s best performance for last. Penrose got by Ken Smith to move into fifth where he would finish the race.
The battle for second was hot between Frazer, Crawley, Stichbury and Kaleb Ngatoa. It all boiled over on the last lap between Ngatoa and Stichbury as light contact sent Stichbury spinning out of turn four. This allowed Frazer and Crawley go about chasing a distant but slowing Boniface in the final few straights.
On the final run to the flag, Boniface’s engine gave up and slowed dramatically allowing Frazer and Crawley to rapidly close the over two-second gap. Boniface split the charging duo as they overtook on either side of him but it was too little too late for them as Boniface would hold onto the win by just a few tenths of a second!
Frazer grabbed second over Crawley but just 0.113s with Ngatoa taking fourth. Penrose finished fifth ahead of sixth-placed Smith who received a five-second time penalty for a jump start. Kim Crocker took seventh, Martin Lucas eighth, Stichbury limped home to ninth with Nick Buxeda in tenth.