After a record breaking trip to Taupo the HiQ Formula First Championship took to the track at Hampton Downs to support the Toyota Racing Series for the NZ Motor Cup.
Qualifying was topped by the ever green Michael Shepherd but only by three tenths of a second over Bramwell King. Brody McConkey set the third fastest time ahead of an impressive run by Arran Crighton in fourth.
Race one did not start without drama as Cameron Dance stalled and couldn’t get the car back going again and had to be pushed off the grid, delaying the start.
After taking mornings pole position Shepherd lost the lead early in the race to Bramwell King.
Liam Lawson had slotted into third after the opening lap, ahead of Chris Symon, Arran Crighton and Brody McConkey. The four then embarked on a close and exciting battle for the podium.
Shepherd pipped King for the lead on the final run to the flag. McConkey fought off the other three to take the podium spot ahead of Symon, Crighton and Lawson.
Race two was started by the ‘old fashion’ drop of the flag which contributed to a few bad starts along the grid.
King and Shepherd took off after the first lap and pulled a sizeable gap over the rest of the field.
Brody McConkey, Liam Lawson and Arran Crighton engaged in an exciting battle for the podium. By lap two Cameron Dance and Bob Dillow joined in on the party and made a close battle even closer.
During lap three McConkey managed to break away from the battle pack and embarked on the journey to the front of the field.
As the cars came over the hill to see the chequered flag McConkey had well and truly put himself in the running for the win. Himself, King and Shepherd approached the line three wide but it was Shepherd who would have the superior run and take the win over King and McConkey.
Chris Symon got by the pack ahead to take fourth ahead of Arran Crighton. Lawson, Dance and Dillow were the second group to take the position down to a three way drag to the finish. The #17 Sabre of Dance out ran his teammate to finish in sixth. Dillow lost out and came home eighth.
The final race started with action as Bob Dillow and Matt Podjursky came together on the first lap which put the pair way down the order. Dillow appeared to have problems afterwards as he was constantly dropping further behind.
Out in front it was King and Shepherd who broke away front the field. Liam Lawson grabbed the third spot early ahead of Crighton and McConkey. The trio then battled it out in an exciting fashion before they became a bit to close on the run to the finish.
King had dropped too far behind Shepherd to get a draft down the straight to the flag, which handed Shepherd the win.
The battle for third had the crowd gasping as Liam Lawson and Arran Crighton came along the straight side by side before Lawson crosses the line on the grass.
After a lengthy protest it was alter decided by the officials that Crighton was in the wrong and he was penalised 15 seconds which put Lawson on to the podium and Crighton down to eighth.
The clean sweep by Michael Shepherd gives him the round win and extends his championship lead to just under 190 points. A third overall for the weekend puts Brody McConkey up to third and Symon down to fifth. Cameron Dance moves up to seventh, swapping places with Matt Podjursky who now sits eighth. Shepherd was also awarded the ‘Ultimate Cup’ for his round win and was presented it by Howden Ganley.