The racing just keeps getting better and better in the Mazda Racing Series following the third round of the series’ National and North Island Championship at Taupo International Motorsport Park over the weekend.
After three superb races with a field of 38 cars, it was Rex Edwards of Tauranga who won the round from Prebbleton driver Chris White Jnr and Simon Baker of Wellington.
However, Edwards did not venture south for the opening two rounds of the National Championship so while he maintained his lead in the North Island Championship points it was the two main protagonists in the National Championship, Baker and White Jnr, who are set for a massive battle at the final national round at Hampton Downs Motorsport Park in April. Baker leads White Jnr by just 7 points with three races to run.
It was Leo Bult of Auckland who drew first blood at Taupo as he qualified fastest on Saturday morning and in doing so won the $500 Premier Insulation Pole Award. Edwards qualified alongside with Baker and White Jnr on the second row. It was Edwards who took the opening race however, from Bult, Baker and Sam Dashfield of Auckland with White Jnr fifth.
The following morning, Flynn Mullany of Auckland scored a popular win in the 10-lap, top ten reverse grid race after being helped onto the grid thanks to the camaraderie within the series after mechanical problems at the last round. Mullany led the way home from White Jnr, Edwards and Baker.
White Jnr set a blistering pace, quickly climbing into second place, setting a new lap record of 1 minute 42.673 seconds in the process, meaning every national round this season has produced a new lap record.
The entire weekend featured great racing and the finale was a cracker with the top six cars covered by just six car lengths as they crossed the line. White Jnr took the win to make it three different race winners across the weekend followed home by Edwards, Baker and Mullany.
While others have a mathematical chance of winning the national title it is Baker and White Jnr who will be hot favourites as they head to Hampton Downs.
Meanwhile, Edwards maintains his lead in the North Island Championship from Baker.
Before the final round, the South Island competitors have the last round of their championship, which White Jnr leads, at Teretonga Park in Invercargill over the weekend of March 18 to 19.
The North Island Championship will feature a round at Pukekohe Park Raceway over the weekend of March 25 to 26, the final weekend of motor racing at the historic South Auckland circuit.
Spokesperson for the series, Lindsay Dodd said “this was our first weekend working alongside Motorsport NZ Championship promoters, Super Sprint NZ and we enjoyed being a part of a well organised, well-run event.”
2023 Mazda Racing Series New Zealand Championship Points after Round 3 – Top 10:
|2||Chris White Jnr||343|
|6 (tied)||Sam Dashfield/Matt Dodd||231|
2023 Mazda Racing Series North Island Championship Points after Round 3 – Top 6:
|3 (tied)||Flynn Mullany/Matt Horne||297|
2023 Mazda Racing Series South Island Championship Points after Round 2 – Top 6:
|1||Chris White Jnr||333|
|4 (tied)||Matt Horne/Dalan Price||267|
Header Image: Geoff Ridder | Words: Lindsay Beer