The Castrol Toyota Formula Regional Oceania Championship has passed the halfway point, with New Zealander Liam Sceats leading the charge in pursuit of runaway front-runner Roman Bilinski.
Consistency has been vital for M2 Competition’s driver, who has finished in the top six in all nine races this season, claiming four podiums along the way.
Over the weekend, a podium in the opening race at Hampton Downs kept the 17-year-old’s streak of achieving a top-three finish in at least one race of each round alive. He crossed the line sixth in the reverse top-eight grid Race 2 on Sunday and fifth in the Dorothy Smith Memorial Trophy feature.
A maiden win was on the cards in the opener, but an unfortunate incident elsewhere hindered his chances when a caution was required.
“In Race 1, we were the fastest car on track and caught the leader three-quarters of the way through the race,” said Sceats. “To our misfortune, as I was overtaking for the lead, a safety car was called, and later, the race was called short, which meant we had to settle with P2.
“As for Sunday, we still consistently showed that we have a strong pace in the races. Unfortunately, a mediocre qualifying on my part led to a couple of unlucky moments where I came off second best at the start as a result of trying to fight through to the front, which hurt us from stepping on the podium.
“Nevertheless, we still sit second in the championship with another solid haul of points. I’m confident moving forward and feel like I understand this Pirelli tyre well now, so we will be stronger at Christchurch.
“A huge thank you to the team, M2 Competition, for giving me a phenomenal package that allows me to contest for these wins and podiums week in and week out.”
Sceats remains firmly in the championship hunt, only 50 points behind Bilinski and with a 33-point buffer over compatriot Kaleb Ngatoa. A maximum of 90 points are up for grabs each round, leaving the title fight wide open as the series heads south.
The Toyota Formula Regional Oceania Championship returns to action this weekend at Ruapuna before the season-finale at Highlands Motorsport Park, which concludes with the New Zealand Grand Prix.
Header Image: Toyota Gazoo Racing (Bruce Jenkins)