Jayden Ojeda is the 2018 CAMS PAYCE Australian Formula 4 Champion, after victory in Race Two on Sunday morning in Pukekohe.
With only one more race remaining for the year, Ojeda has an unassailable 44-point lead over Ryan Suhle. AGI Sport are now back-to-back champions, with Ojeda coincidentally in last year’s championship winning Nick Rowe car.
“It still hasn’t completely sunk in,” Ojeda said.
“That race was a bit hectic but I knew I just had to keep my nose clean. Luckily we came away with it, it’s unreal I can’t thank AGI Sport enough.
“(It has been an) unreal year, we had a lot of wins, a few hiccups along the way but ultimately we came away with the big piece of cake. Really happy with how everything’s gone this year. I can’t believe it.
“That last lap I didn’t even start thinking about the championship until the last corner. It kind of sunk in a little when I went through the last corner and as I crossed the line, I got a bit emotional. It’s all good.”
It was a frantic affair in what was the reverse grid race, with Lochie Hughes starting from pole alongside Thomas Smith. Rain overnight presented crews with mildly damp conditions, but dry enough for Hankook slick tyres.
Thomas Smith, Josh Smith, Zayd Tones, and Ryan Suhle encountered off track excursions as the tyres and track came up to temperature. As the race settled, the pecking order started to take shape with Ojeda and Suhle climbing up the field.
Suhle’s second place finish also secures his runner-up place in the championship, with 48 points between he and Aaron Love in third place.
Yesterday’s Burson Auto Parts Rookie of 2018 battle was also locked away, with Lochie Hughes the best placed rookie in the championship. A podium finish with third place in Race Two a good reward for the Team BRM driver.
Patrizicorse’s Jackson Walls was eager to claw back points after a clutch problem hampered his Saturday race, and finished fifth to be just half a second off Aaron Love.
Thomas Smith, Ardie Jonic, Zayd Tones, Antonio Astuti and Josh Smith rounded out the top ten.
With the top of the championship locked away for the year, Sunday’s third and final race of 2018 is shaping up to be a fun conclusion in what is the Australian Formula 4 Championship’s first visit to New Zealand. Race Three will get underway from 11:45am NZDT.
Provisional Race Two Results
1. Jayden Ojeda
2. Ryan Suhle +1.6352
3. Lochie Hughes +8.5430
4. Aaron Love +12.3181
5. Jackson Walls +12.9571
6. Thomas Smith +13.8258
7. Ardie Jonic +18.1311
8. Zayd Tones +18.4486
9. Antonio Astuti +21.7491
10. Josh Smith +28.8554