Leeds goes back-to-back at Phillip Island

AGI Sport’s Luis Leeds has further extended his lead in the 2019 CAMS PAYCE Australian Formula 4 Championship, with victory in round four at Phillip Island.

Leeds, who clinched round three honours on Saturday, excelled in the setting sun on Sunday to win the sixth and final race of the weekend by six seconds.

He edged ahead of teammate Antonio Astuti, who joined Leeds on the round podium as runner-up.

“The team have done an incredible job, I’ve been working my butt off since Sydney,” Leeds said.

“I want to prove that I’m one of the best drivers here in Australia and I’m worthy of going back overseas. I really hope not only Supercar teams but TCR teams, GT teams, F1 teams… I want them to know that.”

Astuti missed out on a victory on home turf at Phillip Island, but a string of podium results for the weekend was enough to clinch runner-up spot for round four.

“Unfortunately we didn’t quite get the race win but it was good to come back and get second overall for the round,” Astuti said.

“It was a very challenging weekend but we pushed through the speed we had to recover and get some crucial points for the year.”

Team BRM’s Ryan Suhle was one of three drivers victorious during the double-round weekend, but the Queenslander struggled in the Sunday finale to finish sixth – which was enough points in the bank to be third for the round.

“The one race we had today we really struggled. We’ve got to pull the car apart and just see whether something happened in the rear because it felt really stiff towards the end,” Suhle said.

“We really struggled in that race, but to come away with some points is good.”

Lochie Hughes finished on the podium in the sixth and final race of the weekend, but narrowly missed out on a round podium to finish fourth ahead of Jackson Walls, Harry Hayek, Emerson Harvey and Formula 4 debutant Christian Mansell.

Harvey was awarded the Burson Auto Parts Rookie award for both Phillip Island rounds.

“Going into the weekend I had one test day previously, so I knew the track at least,” Harvey said.

“Throughout Saturday, we had some ups and downs with pace but we were consistently nipping at the toes of the front runners.

“Hopefully at the next round we can finally battle for the outright lead.”

The 2019 CAMS PAYCE Australian Formula 4 Championship will conclude at South Australia’s The Bend Motorsport Park, the category’s first visit to the world-class facility with the Shannons Nationals in July.

Round 4 Results
1. Luis Leeds: 68
2. Antonio Astuti: 48
3. Ryan Suhle: 45
4. Lochie Hughes: 43
5. Jackson Walls: 30
6. Harry Hayek: 28
7. Emerson Harvey:20

Race 6 – Round Four (3/3)
1. Luis Leeds
2. Antonio Astuti
3. Lochie Hughes
4. Harry Hayek
5. Jackson Walls
6. Ryan Suhle
7. Christian Mansell
8. Emerson Harvey

Race 5 – Round Four (2/3)
1. Ryan Suhle
2. Luis Leeds +2.8499
3. Antonio Astuti +4.4996
4. Christian Mansell +7.1106
5. Jackson Walls +7.9853
6. Lochie Hughes +9.1124
7. Emerson Harvey +14.7236
8. Harry Hayek +1:46.1325

Race 4 – Round Four (1/3)
1. Luis Leeds
2. Lochie Hughes +2.1650
3. Antonio Astuti +4.4755
4. Ryan Suhle +5.1193
5. Harry Hayek +5.2065
6. Jackson Walls +5.3033
7. Emerson Harvey +10.4500
DNF. Christian Mansell