Nick Rowe has won his second round of the 2017 CAMS Jayco Australian Formula 4 Championship today at Queensland Raceway ahead of local racers Cameron Shields and Ryan Suhle.
The AGI Sport driver claimed victory in Sunday’s Race Three finale in a short nine lap stint. The field conducted two formation laps after Zane Morse spun on his way to the grid, forcing the field to regroup.
Rowe and Shields had a spirited getaway into Turn One, with the two drivers side-by-side throughout the opening sector. Contact between Shields and Sage Murdoch a lap later saw the Team BRM driver drop down the order, with the Toowoomba racer eventually climbing back to seventh.
The early race battles gave Rowe enough of a buffer to claim the round win, with the West Australian leading Ryan Suhle and Tyler Everingham home by nearly four seconds. The result was critical for Rowe’s championship aspirations.
“The year is going really good so far. We had a couple of up and downs – we had a really bad down at Phillip Island but to bounce back like this I can’t thank AGI Sport enough,” Rowe said.
“All three cars were extremely quick. Great job to Sage [Murdoch] and Zak [Best], they really stepped up this weekend and had a big crack. That’s great for the team, and now we move on to Sydney Motorsport Park where we had mega pace there last year.”
The AGI Sport driver is now 45 points clear of Liam Lawson and Cameron Shields in the championship standings. With six races remaining, Rowe’s confidence is further growing.
“I always dare to dream. I do think about it [the championship]. I thought about it a lot last night while I was asleep actually, I was doing the calculations in my head!” Rowe said.
“We’re always keeping our heads down, hopefully we do not have any bad rounds from here – but anything can happen, it’s motor sport.”
While Shields was the first local driver in second overall, the CAMS Foundation Rising Star lamented the Sunday collision that saw critical championship points drift away after claiming victory in Saturday’s Race Two. Shields now shares second in the championship with teammate Lawson.
“It was really good yesterday to come away with the race win… but pretty disappointing in Race Three today,” Shields said.
“I was involved in a bit of an incident there on lap one, but pushed on and worked my back up the field a little bit. Still second for the round it’s really good, now looking forward to Sydney Motorsport Park.
“Pretty good to get three wins under my belt. I’ve been on the podium every single race this year, except for Round One. It’s good to always be up here, hope we can keep doing that for the rest of the year.”
Fellow CAMS Foundation Rising Star Suhle was thrilled to appear on the round podium, after a difficult Friday chasing setup and strategy.
“We started to find our way. We struggled a little bit in qualifying with the strategy. Through the races we started to improve,” Suhle said.
“We made our way and got a few podium positions, and then we’re here… It was really exciting to see that we just had pace. And that’s idea, keeping the ball rolling with the pace and the results we’re getting because it’s been a great year so far.”
Tyler Everingham, who was left to rue a jump start in Race Two claiming victory away from him, was left to be content with fourth overall ahead of Rowe’s teammate Sage Murdoch who claimed his best Australian Formula 4 result to date.
Former championship leader Liam Lawson had a mixed weekend and was sixth overall for the round. The New Zealander was ahead of BRM teammate Simon Fallon, AGI’s Zak Best, BRM’s Zane Morse and Aaron Love rounding out the top ten.
The penultimate round of the CAMS Jayco Australian Formula 4 Championship is set to take place at Sydney Motorsport Park from August 18–20, supporting the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship at the Red Rooster Sydney SuperSprint.
Overall Round Five Results
1. Nick Rowe: 65
2. Cameron Shields: 49
3. Ryan Suhle: 48
4. Tyler Everingham: 31
5. Sage Murdoch: 25
6. Liam Lawson: 21
7. Simon Fallon: 19
8. Zak Best: 17
9. Zane Morse: 16
10. Aaron Love: 10
11. Jordan Mazzaroli: 2
Championship Points After Round Five
1. Nick Rowe: 252
2=. Liam Lawson: 207
2=. Cameron Shields: 207
4. Ryan Suhle: 168
5. Tyler Everingham: 135
6. Josh Denton: 106
7. Simon Fallon: 93
8. Zane Morse: 78
9. Aaron Love: 76
10. Jordan Mazzaroli: 58
11: Zak Best: 57
12: Sage Murdoch: 43
13: Harley Haber: 34
Final Race Three Results
1. Nick Rowe – AGI Sport: 11:01.9571
2. Ryan Suhle – Zagame Autosport: +3.8550
3. Tyler Everingham – Zagame Autosport: +4.8537
4. Simon Fallon – Team BRM: +10.7282
5. Zane Morse – Team BRM: +10.9547
6. Liam Lawson – Team BRM: +11.4007
7. Cameron Shields – Team BRM: +11.7299
8. Aaron Love – Team BRM: +12.1504
9. Jordan Mazzaroli – JRD: +13.6349
10. Zak Best – AGI Sport: +1.2 Laps
11. Sage Murdoch – AGI Sport: DNF