Leeds and Hughes breakaway in Sydney opener

CAMS PAYCE Australian Formula 4 Championship leader Luis Leeds has extended his championship lead after victory in Race One at Sydney Motorsport Park on Saturday.

Continuing his Friday form, Leeds started the day by also securing the Castrol Pole Position over Lochie Hughes by two-tenths of a second.

Leeds then got the jump on Hughes at the race start and continued his form for the remaining 11 laps to win by more than three seconds.

“I’m on a roll,” Leeds enthused.

“When you’ve got a car this good underneath you, it’s important to do the job when you’re out there on track. Just keep winning races… There was a lot of degradation when we were out there. I’m looking forward to racing on older tyres in races two and three.”

Hughes was left to be content with second place, but crucially with 18 points to his name. Hughes’ teammate Ryan Suhle encountered a driveline failure prior to the commencement of the race, allowing Hughes to create a buffer between the duo in the standings.

“Just didn’t quite have the pace towards the end there,” Hughes said.

“Luis just got me there at the start. I felt like I could hang with him for the first two laps, but as the tyres started to get hot and drop off, I just started losing the car.

“He started pulling away, I tried to maintain consistent lap times just to keep second place. I think I know what I want [from the car] …and come out tomorrow to show them what we’ve got.”

Antonio Astuti largely had a solitary race to finish third, a few seconds adrift from the leaders and more than seven seconds ahead of Tommy Smith.

“It was good, happy to come home with third,” Astuti said.

“Of course there’s still more room to grow, more positions to make. Overall the car has decent pace, I’m fairly happy with how I’m driving. It’s just that little edge that we still need to find.

“It’s been good weather, awesome cars to drive around here so hopefully the next race I can have a bit more pace and have close racing.”

Jackson Walls defended strongly against Team BRM’s Emerson Harvey to secure fifth place. In what was Harvey’s second circuit race, the young Victorian drove maturely alongside the experienced Patrizicorse driver.

Both of Sunday’s races will be live streamed on formula4.com.au, with Race Two to commence at 12:20pm and Race Three at 3:55pm AEST.

Race One Results
1. Luis Leeds
2. Lochie Hughes +3.3248
3. Antonio Astuti +5.0217
4. Tommy Smith +12.8294
5. Jackson Walls +18.4427
6. Emerson Harvey +18.9153
DNF. Ryan Suhle

Castrol Pole Position
1. Luis Leeds – 1:30.4571
2. Lochie Hughes +0.2355
3. Ryan Suhle +0.4070
4. Antonio Astuti +0.4511
5. Tommy Smith +0.9940
6. Emerson Harvey +1.0236
7. Jackson Walls +1.8556