CAMS Jayco Australian Formula 4 Championship leader Nick Rowe has won his fourth race of the season, in the opening race at Queensland Raceway.
Rowe led the field from lights-to-flag in a race of high temperatures and attrition across the 13 lap race.
After previously being penalised in Barbagallo, Race Three, for rolling at the race start, Rowe was happy to have an uninterrupted race result.
“It wasn’t as easy as it looked. I didn’t roll at the start that time – so that’s a plus!” Rowe said.
“I just put my head down, the car was mega, I just can’t thank AGI Sport enough. We were just able to pull away. The car’s been great all weekend – pretty much through practice and qualifying.”
Shields, who qualified third yesterday, came home in second place and three seconds adrift of race winner Rowe.
“It was a really good start there, started off third on the second row, and made up one place into Turn Two,” Shields said.
“That was the race done after that. Nick Rowe had a lot of pace there, but Race Two is up very soon and we’ll see how we go. Hopefully we can find a bit of pace and make the top step.”
Newcastle AGI Sport driver Sage Murdoch was thrilled to claim his first podium finish, off the back of his first front row start in his debut Australian Formula 4 season.
Murdoch admitted to not have the best launch off the grid, which meant he and Team BRM driver Liam Lawson were side-by-side on the approach to Turn One. The AGI Sport driver hung on to the final podium place two-seconds ahead of Lawson.
“It feels great to finally get one,” Murdoch said.
“There was heaps of pressure, Lawson definitely gave me heaps in the first couple of laps defending him. I stuffed that start up, but oh well!”
After his attempt on Murdoch, Lawson then eyed a thrilling battle with AGI Sport’s Zak Best for fourth place on the opening lap.
“I got a really good start, but unfortunately got boxed out and had nowhere to go into Turn One,” Lawson said.
“Lost a spot and went back to fifth. I managed to hold off [Zak Best] around the outside, but I’m struggling around Turn One and Two. The front of the car can’t quite make up the same corner speed.
“It was good around the rest of the track so we’ll make a few changes for the next one.”
While Lawson crossed the chequered flag fourth, he was later demoted to tenth place. Contact with Zagame Autosport’s Tyler Everingham brought upon a ten-second penalty.
Zagame Autosport’s Ryan Suhle was encouraged with his race pace. The CAMS Foundation Rising Star hung on to his qualifying position of fifth, ahead of his teammate Everingham. With Lawson’s penalty, Suhle was promoted to fourth.
“That was a bit fun, exciting around The Paperclip,” Suhle enthused.
“To finish where we started is not too bad, better than going backwards. We had some good race pace, but we didn’t get the start right.”
Fastest in both practice sessions, Zak Best just missed out on pole position for Race Two’s reverse grid race in sixth place ahead of Simon Fallon, Aaron Love and Zane Morse. Outside of the points Jordan Mazzaroli encountered front-wing damage and returned to pit lane, with the JRD crew making a swift front-wing change in pit lane.
The top five from Race One will be reversed to form the grid for this afternoon’s Race Two at 2:40pm, with Zagame Autosport duo Everingham and Suhle starting on the front row.
Final Race One Results
1. Nick Rowe – AGI Sport: 15:50.1662
2. Cameron Shields – Team BRM: +3.1799
3. Sage Murdoch – AGI Sport: +7.4505
4. Ryan Suhle – Zagame Autosport: +11.6467
5. Tyler Everingham – Zagame Autosport: +11.8425
6. Zak Best – AGI Sport: +12.1532
7. Simon Fallon – Team BRM: +13.4638
8. Aaron Love – Team BRM: +15.0550
9. Zane Morse – Team BRM: +15.2428
10. Liam Lawson – Team BRM: +19.7436 (10 second penalty applied)
11. Jordan Mazzaroli – JRD: +1.2 Laps