The ITM Auckland Super400 has been confirmed as the final round of the ITM NZ Formula Ford Championship. The New Zealand round of the Supercars Championship has been held annually since 2003 and has since become New Zealand’s largest annual sporting event.
2020 will see the event take on a new venue with racing moving to Waikato’s Hampton Downs Motorsport Park on April 24-27. Whilst the NZ Formula Ford Championship visited the venue for the fourth round of the championship in February, it will be the fifth different track utilised this season as the 3.8km International Circuit will be used.
Series co-ordinator John Hastings looks forward to being able to showcase the final round of what has been a great season of Formula Ford racing on such a widely viewed stage.
“To book-end our championship with two Supercars events is huge for the championship,”said Hastings.
“These events offer our teams and drivers unrivalled exposure with huge crowds, a big TV package and all the Supercars teams taking note of who the next hot young talent is.”
Whilst the exact format of the weekend is yet to be determined one thing is guaranteed, the racing will be intense and dynamic as the championship battle between the top three closes up.
16-year-old Billy Frazer of Pukekohe currently leads the points standings by 22-points over Feilding’s Callum Crawley, 19. Siting not far behind in third is Christchurch’s James Penrose, 23, who held the points lead until the penultimate round at Pukekohe Park. Penrose sits just six-points behind Crawley and still well within grasp of the championship.
“Racing at the Supercars events is massive for us aspiring drivers,”said Frazer.
“When we raced there at the start of the season in September, it was great and I think we all got a huge amount out of it.
“We’re all wanting the same thing out there, and that is to become professional racers and racing in front of professional teams is a great way to get noticed. It also provides great coverage for our sponsors on TV.
“Racing on the International circuit will put up a great challenge for all the drivers, no one will be able to test there before the event so it will be a true test of ability for us.”
2019/20 ITM NZ Formula Ford Championship Standings (Top 10):
Billy Frazer, 16, Pukekohe (Spectrum 015) – 926pts
Callum Crawley, 19, Feilding (Spectrum 015) – 904pts
James Penrose, 23, Christchurch (’93 Van Diemen Stealth) – 898pts
Zac Stichbury, 18, Hawkes Bay (Mygale SJ08) – 786pts
Thomas Boniface, 16, Taranaki (Mygale SJ13) – 612pts
Ronan Murphy, 18, Havelock North (Spectrum 015) – 594pts
Kaleb Ngatoa, 18, Marton (Mygale) – 511pts
Cameron Tanner (Van Diemen RF90) – 311pts
Keith Miller (Van Diemen RF90) – 306pts
Blake Evans, 15, Rotorua (Mygale SJ08) – 204pts
1st = 75pts, 2nd = 67, 3rd = 60, 4th = 54, 5th = 49
2019/20 NZ Formula Ford Championship Calendar:
Round 1: Pukekohe Park Raceway – September 13-15, 2019
Round 2: Manfeild Circuit Chris Amon – October 18-20, 2019
Round 3: Teretonga Park – January 24-26, 2020
Round 4: Hampton Downs Motorsport Park – Jan 31-Feb 2, 2020
Round 5: Pukekohe Park Raceway – February 7-9, 2020
Round 6: Hampton Downs Motorsport Park – April 24-27, 2020
NZ Formula Ford Championship: The NZ Formula Ford Championship is a junior single seater category which is run as a National Championship by the sports governing body, MotorSport New Zealand. NZ Formula Ford has been the breeding ground for young motorsport stars such as Brendon Hartley, Scott Dixon, Shane van Gisbergen, Earl Bamber, Richie Stanaway, Nick Cassidy, Liam Lawson and Marcus Armstrong.