A unique set of circumstances caused a commotion among the Formula Ford and Formula 1600 entrants at Teretonga Park on Friday.
Both the New Zealand Formula Ford Championship and the South Island Formula 1600 Series are sharing the billing. It’s believed to be the first time the two series have raced at the same meeting.
Efforts were made late last year by BP Motorsport NZ Championship promoters Speed Works Events to have the two categories share the same grid. However, differing opinions between the categories meant a compromise couldn’t be reached despite the offer on the table.
It means there will be six races for the single-seaters, three for the national championship and three for the South Island series.
In the New Zealand Formula Ford Championship articles under Practice, Qualifying, and Starting Positions (9.1.1) it states: “No testing of a Formula Ford competition vehicle will be permitted on the circuit at which the Round is scheduled to be held from Monday to Thursday (inclusive) in the week of that Round.”
It was effectively decided that by having New Zealand Formula Ford Championship competitors run in the South Island Formula 1600 Series those drivers would be in breach of the testing rules.
An amendment was made under the provisions of the MotorSport NZ National Sporting Code Article 18(2) to the articles (9.1.2) stating: “No Driver entered in the Championship is permitted to drive the vehicle entered in any Round of the Championship in any other Practice, Qualifying or Race being held at that Meeting.”
The decision was made to prevent additional testing of the vehicles entered in the New Zealand Formula Ford Championship, which included a handful of drivers. However, the decision was soon reversed, removing 9.1.2.Elton Goonan, Competitions Manager, MotorSport New Zealand said: “MotorSport New Zealand, in conjunction with Formula Ford Racing New Zealand inc. issued an amendment (FF-19-A001) to the MSNZ Formula Ford Championship articles. “Upon receiving feedback from competitors, MotorSport New Zealand and Formula Ford Racing New Zealand inc. then issued another amendment (FF-19-A002) which essentially removed the changes in FF-19-A001.”
Most notably among the dual entries across Formula Ford and Formula 1600 are Ronan Murphy, Bill Frazer, Kaleb Ngatoa and Zac Stichbury.