One of the greatest winning streaks in New Zealand Formula First history has ended at 18 after Chris Symon was forced to settle for second in the final race at Manfeild on Sunday.
It took a spirited drive from Liam Foster to get the job done on his 19th attempt this season, holding on over the final lap to take the chequered flag by .058 seconds.
From early on Saturday it appeared Symon was once again the man to beat after a massive qualifying session saw him take pole by nearly a full second ahead of the field.
Things were tighter between the rest of the pack, Jensen Foster going second fastest ahead of Regan Edwards who recorded his best qualifying result to date. Liam Foster was just .028 seconds off the top three whilst Harry Scott was a further .031 seconds back in fifth.
Come Race 1 on Saturday afternoon it was once again Symon emerging on top, driving well clear of the field to take honours by over 10 seconds.
The result also saw him become the championship-elect having obtained an unassailable lead atop the Formula First standings with one round still to run.
It makes it three titles in a row for the school principal, one less than his father’s streak between 1986-89.
Edwards backed up his superb qualifying effort to finish second, one spot ahead of Hayden Lines. Ron Carter was the highest placed master in 11th.
Race 2 was a closer affair but saw a familiar result: Symon atop the leaderboard.
Liam Foster, Jensen Foster and Scott made sure the championship-elect had to work for his 18th win on the trot. Symon kept a cool head to prevail over Liam Foster and Jensen Foster respectively with Scott the best rookie in fourth.
Carter continues a solid run of form in the Masters Championship after taking class honours and finishing 11th overall.
That then leaves Race 3, Liam Foster driving superbly to win the Paraparaumu Shield to end Symon’s undefeated season.
Pressure paid off for the #44 when he took the lead on the penultimate lap and held on for a well-deserved win. Symon settled for second whilst Scott rounded out the podium.
Bob Dillow returned to winning ways in the Masters Championship and finished 12th overall.
The 2022/23 NZ Formula First season concludes at Manfeild on 1-2 April.