AGI Sport’s Luis Leeds has extended his championship lead, securing victory in Friday’s opening race at The Bend Motorsport Park.
Starting from the front row alongside Castrol Pole Position winner Lochie Hughes, Leeds clinched a further 25 points over runner-up Ryan Suhle.
“It was tricky, tough race. I made sure I got a good start and push as I hard as I could in those opening laps to build my lead,” Leeds said.
“Ryan was catching me but I made sure I was doing consistent lap times. I just had to bag up those points and take no risks. Hopefully we can get another win tomorrow and wrap up this championship.”
Suhle had an impressive race himself, climbing from sixth to second and claiming the fastest lap of the race in the process. The Team BRM driver only finished 1.6 seconds adrift of Leeds after the seven-lap race.
The field struggled with visibility with the near-twilight race, before rain appeared moments before the race start.
“We all went tinted visors because the sun came out. Then as we rolled out it disappeared – so it was a really hard race for everyone,” Suhle said.
“Starting from sixth it was a bit tricky to climb up the field, especially with the little visibility. You can’t exactly jam it down the inside of people. We had really good pace, we caught Luis by about a second a lap. It’ll be good if it rains tomorrow for me.”
Antonio Astuti also recovered well from seventh to finish third, with pole sitter Hughes dropping to fourth by the end of the race.
“It was wet, sunny, couldn’t see, and everyone was no-holds barred fighting with every inch of track,” Astuti said.
“We managed to come back from seventh to finish third. That’s a positive turn of events considering where we were in qualifying, especially in the championship battle. Hopefully the sun goes away more than anything, the eyes need a good rest after that.”
Emerson Harvey held steady in fifth, though he was penalised with a post-race five second penalty for exceeding his grid spot. Tommy Smith’s BRM experienced overheating issues to finish sixth and Jackson Walls encountering a spin in the wet conditions to finish seventh.
Race Two will be live streamed at formula4.com.au from 10:05am ACST, followed by Race Three at 12:45pm.
Provisional Race One Results (Round Five)
1. Luis Leeds (AGI)
2. Ryan Suhle (BRM) +1.6277
3. Antonio Astuti (AGI) +13.3495
4. Lochie Hughes (BRM) +23.6606
5. Emerson Harvey (BRM) +34.9203 (five-second penalty applied)
6. Tommy Smith (BRM) +49.5761
7. Jackson Walls (Patrizicorse) +50.8490
Provisional Championship Points after Race One (Round Five)
1. Luis Leeds – 267
2. Ryan Suhle – 183
3. Lochie Hughes – 168
4. Antonio Astuti – 155
5. Jackson Walls – 90
6. Emerson Harvey – 82
7. Harry Hayek – 66
8. Tommy Smith – 52
9. Jayden Ojeda – 35
10. Taylor Cockerton – 31
11. Ryan Yardley – 27
12. Jackson Burton – 19
13. Josh Smith – 6
14. Dylan Thomas – 6