The 2022/23 Promains Formula Open New Zealand (FONZ) finishes up at Taupo this weekend with the Jim Palmer Cup looking like it’ll be in points leader Zac Christensen’s hands by the end of it. However, with Leo Francis still in mathematical contention and Hayden Bakkerus set to take part, the race in this class will be well worth watching.
As for the Graeme Lawrence Cup, the chance to win is wide open with both James Watson and Liam Sceats extremely close together. Sam Mac Neill won’t far behind in the points once every body drops their worst round too.
Both Sceats and Mac Neill know that this is a Formula Atlantic friendly track and will both be out on Friday for private testing to try different setups to see if they can not only best each other, but close the gap to the #31 Swift DB4.
Watson very rarely turns up on these private test days as he tends to rely on past data to set the car up and is usually exceptionally fast straight off the trailer. However, he is taking the challenge from the two very fast FT50s seriously and is booked to do some testing and suspension fine tuning. He currently has the class record at a 1:24.6 and is looking to get the black beast into the 1:23s.
The two flies in the ointment for both Sceats and Mac Neill will be Kaden Probst in the FT50 and Gary Rush in the other DB4 Atlantic. Probst’s FT50 has recently had some setup adjustments made which should see him lower his previously impressive lap times. Probst is super-fast and could upset the other two. Gary Rush will also be faster with a fresh 4AGE engine bolted in the back of the Swift and a point to prove.
The Promains Howden Ganley Cup for the overall series winner comes from either the Jim Palmer Cup or the Graeme Lawrence Cup depending on who has the highest points score. This will come down to one of four drivers who can win it of which we won’t know who it will be until 4pm on Saturday.
Promains Formula Open New Zealand (FONZ) practice will get the Taupo weekend underway on Friday, 14 April with Qualifying and three races set for Saturday, 15 April.
Header Image: Matt Smith Photography | Words: Supplied