Callum Hedge walked away from his debut Porsche Michelin Sprint Challenge round second in the standings following an abandoned final race at Phillip Island.
The Kiwi was running fourth when a multi-car crash triggered the red flag. Three cars came together at the Southern Loop, with heavy damage sustained to each car and the tyre wall.
Race officials then called off the race when it became clear that there would be not enough time to restart the race.
It means that race three was ruled out as a dud, and Hedge’s win in yesterday’s second race ensures he finished on the podium for the overall round.
Madeline Stewart was the other Kiwi affected by the red flag. Starting 17th, the Earl Bamber Motorsport driver was up to 12th by turn three before the race was stopped.
The Porsche Michelin Sprint Challenge now heads to Sydney Motorsport Park for their second round of the season on May 1-2.
After a difficult Saturday, Kaleb Ngatoa put on one of the most impressive displays across the S5000 field.
A red flag on lap one following an aeroplane crash for Nathan Herne, the weekend’s finale was reduced to just nine laps.
Eager to make amends for yesterday’s troubles, Ngatoa was electric as he scythed his way to run as high as fifth on the final lap.
Before this weekend, the young Kiwi had never experienced an S5000 machine. Yet his ability to preserve the best of his tyre life while run at a consistently strong pace was exceptionally praiseworthy.
Unfortunately, he would run wide at turn one on the final lap when he attempted a late move on Thomas Randle for fourth. Still, Ngatoa was able to re-join and finish the race, crossing the line in eighth.
Sydney driver Joey Mawson would win the race, having started on the third row of the grid. A fast start saw him launch from sixth to second before the red flag. He would then overtake Randle on lap six to seize the race lead.
While Ngatoa’s results don’t suggest much on paper, his turn around in car confidence between race two and race three over the weekend proves he can mix it with the front runners for the rest of the season.
He won’t have to wait too long for his next opportunity either, with the S5000 field joining the Supercars support bill for this weekend’s Sandown SuperSprint.
Main Image: EBM