Invercargill’s Alex Crosbie continues to lead the Rookie Championship and sits fifth equal in the overall championship after Round 2 of the 2024 Castrol Toyota Formula Regional Oceania Championship at Manfeild Circuit Chris Amon over the weekend.
The 17-year-old started his weekend by setting the twelfth fastest time in Saturday morning’s qualifying session, which set the grid for the first race of the round later that afternoon.
“I was disappointed with twelfth. I just didn’t manage to put a decent lap together,” he said as he looked back on the weekend.
In the race that afternoon, Crosbie was quickly on the move, climbing as high as eighth place. However, on the penultimate lap he hit a kerb on the exit of the final turn on the 3.03km circuit. That upset the car, and Crosbie had to come off the throttle, allowing fellow rookie Canadian Patrick Woods-Toth to eventually get past early on the final lap.
He crossed the line tenth, but that was later revised to ninth after another competitor received a penalty, a result that lifted Crosbie to fourth place in the championship points overnight.
Sunday’s action started with qualifying for the final race of the weekend, the Dan Higgins Trophy Race, and again, Crosbie recorded the twelfth fastest time. That would be his grid position for the third and final race.
Before then, he lined up for the second race of the round early on Sunday afternoon from ninth on the grid. It was raining, and in the wet conditions, he made his way up to seventh place at the finish.
The finale for the weekend, the Dan Higgins Trophy Race, was held in very wet conditions later in the afternoon and from twelfth on the grid Crosbie made up several positions off the start.
Soon after, two cars ahead of him collided, bringing out the red flag early in the race and causing a delay before a restart. After the restart, Crosbie held his position.
“There was no visibility at all,” he said. “It was very unsafe. I was aquaplaning.” Race officials thought so, too, and the race was stopped at the end of 21 of the scheduled 27 laps.
Crosbie thanked his team, Giles Motorsport, for their efforts over the weekend and acknowledged his sponsors and family.
The next round of the series takes place at Hampton Downs Motorsport Park in North Waikato next weekend.