It was a day of shared firsts at The Bend Motorsport Park, with Lochie Hughes claiming his first CAMS PAYCE Australian Formula 4 Championship round win, Jackson Walls and Patrizicorse their first race win, and Luis Leeds his first Australian Championship title.
Round five ended in a dramatic nine lap race on a drying track with wet Hankook tyres. Patrizicorse’s Jackson Walls was narrowly close to a breakthrough career win, but was out-braked with a remarkable late-braking move by Hughes.
Leeds was relieved to come away from the end of the high-attrition race with enough points to claim the championship with a round in hand.
“It’s been a long time in the making. It’s an effort from everyone around me. To finally get it done is a big weight off my shoulders,” Leeds said.
“The car’s got a few battle scars, I did have to work for it but ultimately I wanted to go out there and win.”
Contact earlier in the race between Hughes and teammate Ryan Suhle saw Hughes penalised five-seconds after the race. Suhle recovered to sixth, and Jackson Walls promoted to the race win.
“I’m happy, it’s been a long two years so I’m happy to finally get that race win,” Walls said.
“The team have given me an awesome car, it’s on rails in the dry. I think the car will be really dominant tomorrow.”
Though disappointed to lose the Race Three win, victory in Race Two remained a highlight for Hughes’ round five victory – his first round win in his Australian Formula 4 career.
“It was a crazy race, probably one of the most exciting for the year, with three cars within earshot to win the race,” Hughes said.
“We’ve still got to fight for our own positions, I’ll always be pushing. We’ll try to do the best we can and hopefully grab some more wins.”
For Leeds, who had the lion’s share of race wins, Castrol Pole Positions and round wins in 2019, the championship takes him one step closer to returning to Europe.
“I’m stoked. I want to progress to FIA Formula 3. I think it ultimately makes sense for the Australian Formula 4 Champion to move up there and progress,” Leeds said.
“Hopefully there’s a few key people in the motor sport industry out there that can support a young driver and take me there.
“I’ve been working hard to achieve this goal for a very long time and I hope that people are paying attention to the work and effort we’re putting in to make this dream a reality.”
Suhle, who claimed Castrol Pole Position on Friday, will start Round Six alongside the champion-elect Leeds on Sunday morning.
All three races will be streamed live at formula4.com.au, with race one from 9:40am ACST.
Provisional Round Five Results
1. Lochie Hughes
2. Luis Leeds
3. Ryan Suhle
4. Jackson Walls
5. Antonio Astuti
6. Emerson Harvey
7. Tommy Smith
Provisional Race Three Results (Round Five)
1. Jackson Walls (Patrizicorse)
2. Lochie Hughes (BRM) +5.0000
3. Luis Leeds (AGI) +5.0661
4. Tommy Smith (BRM) +7.1202
5. Antonio Astuti (AGI) +9.3256
6. Ryan Suhle (BRM) +9.5754
7. Emerson Harvey (BRM) +17.0439