New Zealander Liam Lawson has carried on his winning form from Round One to claim Sunday’s opening race for Round Two of the 2017 CAMS Jayco Australian Formula 4 Championship.
Starting in damp conditions at Sandown, the field undertook two exploratory laps to get a feel for the conditions.
The Safety Car came out by the end of the first lap to retrieve the stricken cars of Simon Fallon and Tyler Everingham, after Josh Denton and Fallon had a synchronised spin into turn one and Everingham collided with Fallon’s Team BRM machine.
“I thought yesterdays race was long, but this one was even longer,” Lawson said.
“I haven’t driven properly with wet tyres yet so every lap was learning and it got better mid way through the race; I got faster.”
AGI Sport’s Harley Haber had the best start of the field, climbing from tenth to third in the opening lap.
“I got off to an absolute cracker start. I started off tenth and by turn one I was sixth, and then by turn two I was third,” Haber said.
“I was right on the back of Nick Rowe, my teammate. The safety car came out early and settled us all down a little bit. I eventually got into a rhythm and stayed out of trouble and just kept plucking off those laps. And eventually got fourth.”
Racing resumed uninterrupted on Lap Five, with the field largely settled until Cameron Shields passed Harley Haber for third place on Lap Eight. Shields set the fastest lap for much of the race and eventually overtook Nick Rowe for second place.
“It was awesome fun out there. Started off the back row of the grid in 12th spot and managed to get my way through to second,” Shields said.
“It was a very thrilling race that’s for sure. Kept me busy throughout, lots of battles pushing through. Came out in second place, very happy.
“The car is a lot slipperier in the wet, it’s very hard to control. But certainly pushed through and managed to go very well.”
Rowe, Saturday’s Race One winner, gathered critical points for his Championship crusade but was disappointed not to place higher.
“We started sixth and we got up to second there. Missed the setup by this much and missed the race win by this much. We’ll be back in the next one and we’ll give it a red hot go,” Rowe said.
“The boys worked hard last night… so a long night for them. They all got in at 6am and changed it all for the wet set up. A big day ahead, I guess!”
Zak Best and Josh Denton enjoyed a spirited battle towards the final stages of the rest, but it was the former Aussie Racing Car racer that secured his best result this weekend of fifth behind AGI Sport teammate Haber.
“It was good fun out there, trying to hold him [Josh Denton] off there. I just had a bit more of the corners but he had the straight line,” Best said.
“The track first was half wet and half dry; it was sort of damp. Early in the race it started to rain and then it got really wet and then towards the end it dried out a bit.
“Good points for the championship, just hoping to move up in the next one.”
Aaron Love was the best placed Burson Auto Parts rookie driver in sixth, ahead of fellow rookie and CAMS Foundation Rising Star Zane Morse.
Starting from pole position, Zagame Autosport’s Ryan Suhle endured a difficult first Formula 4 race in the wet conditions and AGI Sport’s Sage Murdoch rounded out the final points paying position in tenth.
Race Two of Round Two for the CAMS Jayco Australian Formula 4 Championship will commence at 12:50pm, with live streaming available via Nationals TV from www.thenationals.com.au
Provisional Race One Results
1. Liam Lawson – Team BRM
2. Cameron Shields – Team BRM +1.8328
3. Nick Rowe – AGI Sport +5.2803
4. Harley Haber – AGI Sport +17.0106
5. Zak Best – AGI Sport +42.3901
6. Aaron Love – Team BRM +43.5369
7. Zane Morse – Team BRM +44.0534
8. Josh Denton – Team BRM +45.2755
9. Ryan Suhle – Zagame Autosport +1:06.3729
10. Sage Murdoch – AGI Sport +1:16.9172
11. Jordan Mazzaroli – JRD – DNF
12. Simon Fallon – Team BRM – DNF
13. Tyler Everingham – Zagame Autosport – DNF