The 2022-23 Giltrap Group North Island Formula Ford season has been tightly fought since the very first round at Manfeild with those battles set to resume tomorrow at Taupo International Motorsport Park in a one day event hosted by the Auckland Car Club.
Liam Sceats has been a man on a mission in his Van Diemen Stealth this campaign, heading into the event with a massive 135 point lead over second-placed Blake Dowdall.
The 18-year-old, who participated in the Tony Quinn Foundation Shootout earlier this week, took the first four races of the season including a clean-sweep at Manfeild.
In what will be a highlight of many of the young driver’s career to date, the series raced in support of Supercars in their final ever round at Pukekohe which was shown live on Sky Sports.
Sceats and New Zealand champion Alex Crosbie engaged in some thrilling battles that weekend, the latter taking the round victory with a win and two seconds. The series leader won two races but was let down by a jumpstart in the second which saw him finish sixth.
Crosbie has returned to his natural hunting ground in the South Island with the start of their F1600 series last month.
In his absence, a number of drivers have stepped up massively to ensure Sceats is kept under pressure, none more so than Dylan Grant.
Grant’s presence was immense last round which saw him take two well-deserved victories. Finishing fourth in Race 1 after a tricky qualifying session meant he didn’t take round honours, however, that going to Sceats who took a win and two seconds.
Heading into Taupo tomorrow, the series leader will again be the man to beat in his march towards the title.
Competitors will have to be on the ball early, Sceats having taken the $500 award for pole position provided by the Hampton Downs NZ Racing Academy each round this campaign.
If Grant, Dowdall and the rest of the pack have anything to say about it, however, they’ll be out to ensure the 17-year-old doesn’t pull away any further at the front.
Other competitors to also watch include the likes of Leo Scott, Sebastian Manson, Mason Potter and Judd Christinsen who have consistently been towards the front of the mid-field battles and put the leaders under pressure.
Qualifying in Taupo takes place at 8.45am followed by 10 lap races at 10.35am and 1.35pm preceding the 12-lap finale at 3.35pm.
Header Image: Geoff Ridder