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Last weekend, we woke up early every morning to head off to Taupo Motorsport Park for the 2nd round of the NZ Formula Ford Series and the 6th Round of the NIFF Series. It was a great Supersprint meeting, and we were excited to race.

On Saturday, we ran with a tire-saving strategy for the South Island. We left the old rubber on for qualifying, where I went P7. It was somewhat disappointing, but at least it was on the inside line. Race 1 started super early in the morning with no time to cool down from qualifying. Due to a non-starter in P5, I had clear air in front of me and quickly made it up to 6th place. I sat behind Daniel Brown in 6th for a while before deciding the best move was to push forward and try to catch the leading pack up ahead. We didn't manage to challenge for the win with the front pack, but I pulled a gap and finished 5th over the line.

In the super tight schedule for the day, Race 2 was up in an instant. Being interviewed on the grid by Stephen McIvor was a cool start to the race, but it brought a touch of commentator's curse along with it. He asked me if this race was the one where he’d see me on the podium, and I said yes, but our limiting factor was the tires if anything. Well, I was up to 4th within lap 1, then made my way up to the podium places. However, the tires dropped off massively in the last 2 laps, and I finished the race in 5th.

In Race 3, we kept persisting with our tire strategy, knowing we were on edge. The car was tricky to drive, but I managed to stay in the pack in 6th for most of the race. I got up to 5th and had hopes of catching the leading pack, but the combo of fading tires and 2 drivers, Will Neale and Zach Blincoe, trading fastest laps and slicing through the field, stopped me in my tracks, pushing me back in the field. I came across the line 7th.

On Sunday, heartbreak struck for Race 4 as the car caught fire while we were warming it up, forcing us to replace the carburettor to head out. Unfortunately, we attempted to get the car out and had hoped that the race had just started, but we couldn’t make it to the grid in time and only completed 30% of the race, resulting in a DNF/DNS.

Race 5 just about made up for it, though, as I had the drive of my life after we bolted on the new tires. I made my way up to 5th after running around the outside line at turn 1, then moved into 4th on the same lap after doing some good old late braking into Airport Corner (Turn 11). From there, I engaged in a fierce battle with Sebastian Manson, who was driving the widest Formula Ford in the world! Lap after lap, I went for the move but always found myself on the outside. Going into the chicane, I thought I had it made as I went around the outside, but we kept at it for four corners before he came out ahead again. The move was finally made as I took the long way around at Airport Corner. As soon as I was in clear air, I managed the fastest lap, charging towards Alex Crosbie, reducing the gap in front from 2.4 seconds to 1.3 seconds to take P2 at the line.

We’re heading down South soon for back-to-back weekends to do the rest of the NZ championship!

We’ll be at Teretonga from the 18th of March until the 19th of March and we’ll be at Ruapuna from the 25th of March until the 26th of March

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