Crighton extends early Championship lead

Arran Crighton has seized every opportunity at the second round of the Hi-Q Components NZ Formula First Championship to extend his early points lead over Bramwell King.

The opening race of the weekend was dominated by Arran Crighton and Matt Podjursky with the win coming down to the final sequence of corners. Crighton led Podjursky down the main straight, but the typical Formula First draft set up the perfect passing opportunity for Podjursky to get by Crighton. However Podjursky made a mistake and went into the chase too fast and spun around and out of contention leaving Crighton to take the win.

“It was just some compression lock. I felt it bogging all race and knew something was going to happen eventually.” Said a gutted Podjursky.

The front running rookie battle of Dylan Smith, Kaleb Ngatoa, Callum Crawley and Reece Hendi-Cox boiled over on the fifth lap when Hendi-Cox, leader of rookie championship, and Dylan Smith, second in rookie points, came together. The contact wouldn’t prove terminal for either, however it allowed Ngatoa to run away to take fourth.

The drama unfolded much earlier on in race two as the race leaders collided on the first lap. Bramwell King went around the outside of the race leader, Arran Crighton, with Chris Symon sitting in behind waiting to pounce of the move that would eventually end in tears when Crighton and King made contact sending the championship leader around.

Crighton, who had dropped back to 13th, recovered to join onto the back of Ngatoa, Smith, Day and L.Foster to fight for a top five finish. Up to eighth on the penultimate lap, Crighton thought his way through to a top five recovery after the incident that was potential championship changing stuff.

A superb manoeuvre by Chris Symon at the final corner saw him get past Bramwell King to take the win. 

It was again a start that provided great entertainment in race three as Bramwell King made a dive up the inside at the first turn to move up to third. After leaving the corner a nine car train was formed from first to ninth, with Podjursky, Crighton and Symon leading the way.

A little over half way into the race Crighton took over the lead and by the end of lap four had pulled a sizeable gap that put him out of the danger of towing his rivals down the straight.

The focus then shifted to battle for second between King, Podjursky and Symon, who went side by side for the majority of the great little race track that is Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park.

Crighton extended his championship lead with the convincing win while Podjursky finished second, with Symon third.

Crighton now has a 53 point lead over King in the points with six rounds still remaining. Symon’s win and Podjursky’s mistake see the pair swap placings with Symon moving up to third and Podjurksy down to fourth.

The rookie championship remains unchanged with Reece Hendi-Cox ahead of Dylan Smith and Kaleb Ngatoa.

The Hi-Q Components NZ Formula First Championship gets back under way in the new year at Hampton Downs on January 28/29 for round three of the national championship.

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Jordie Peters

Jordie Peters

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