Murphy wins round as drama sees Crosbie with narrow lead in NZ Formula Ford Championship

Current NAPA Auto Parts New Zealand Formula Ford champion, Alex Crosbie has gained a narrow lead after the opening round at Hampton Downs over the weekend in support of the NZ Grand Prix meeting. One-point separates the Southlander from Dylan Grant while Daniel Brown sits just six-points further back followed by Mason Potter, Blake Dowdall and Sebastian Manson.

With three different winners at the meeting, the contest was mostly between Crosbie (Ray GR21) and Grant (Van Diemen RF03) over the three races. After setting fastest lap in qualifying and winning the Hampton Downs New Zealand Racing Academy $1,0101.10 cash prize, Grant narrowly won the opening race from Crosbie with Blake Knowles (Van Diemen RF05) third and Greg Murphy (Van Diemen RF92) fourth.
Crosbie bounced back winning a hard fought close second race on Sunday morning. At this stage it looked like the weekend would be a duel between the two with Grant finishing second ahead of Blake Dowdall (Spectrum 015), Zach Blincoe (Mygale SJ07), Murphy and Brown (Ray GR21).
The third race proved as much with Crosbie leading every lap until the two had a coming together on the final lap, sending them both back down the field and allowing Zach Blincoe to cross the line first ahead of Dowdall, Murphy, Potter (Spectrum 015) and Kyan Davie (Spectrum 015). Blincoe was later disqualified due to a technical infringement handing the win and the Morrie Smith Memorial Trophy to Dowdall.
“It was going well until the last lap when I got hit from behind,” commented Crosbie. “It’s been pretty close racing from all the top cars. The impact bent the rear suspension arms but I managed to get it home for some points.”
Crosbie salvaged 13th while Grant received a 10-second penalty dropping him down to 16th.
“It’s been close racing all weekend,” said Grant. “It looks like it will be a tough season. There wasn’t enough room in that last race so it’s a pity for the both of us.”
Ex Supercars and Bathurst champion Greg Murphy (Shane Drake’s Van Diemen RF92) emerged as the winner of the meeting with 2x fourth and second placings.

“I’ve had a lot of fun this weekend,” said Murphy. “There was no pressure on me so it is pure fun and enjoyment although I have felt every bump and knock this weekend.”

The meeting also doubled as the fifth of seven 2022/23 Giltrap Group North Island Formula Ford Series. Liam Sceats still holds a narrow 29-point lead over Dowdall, Potter and Grant. With his non-entry at the round as well as next weekend’s sixth round at Taupo, the race is on between the latter three for the overall lead.

The NAPA Auto Parts $230 trade voucher for the North Island Series ‘Driver of the Day’ went to Daniel Brown.

The 2023 NZ Formula Ford Championship includes two North and two South Island rounds with the Morrie Smith Memorial Trophy up for grabs at the final race of the first round, the Ron frost Memorial Trophy to be contested at the final race of Round 2 and the Stephen Gillard Memorial Trophy for the highest placed Rookie at the end of the championship.

The Giltrap Group North Island Formula Ford Series is also supported by Yokohama, the Tony Quinn Foundation and NAPA Auto Parts.

2023 NAPA Auto Parts New Zealand Formula Ford Championship
1/ Alex Crosbie 175
2/ Dylan Grant 174
3/ Daniel Brown 168
4/ Mason Potter 148
5/ Jack Noble-Adams 139
6/ Blake Dowdall 135
7/ Sebastian Manson 126
8/ Caleb Byers 115
9/ Blake Knowles 102
10/ Dylan Petch 88
11/ Hayden Bakkerus 81
12/ William Neale 66
13/ Keith Miller 58
14/ Leo Scott 45

2022/23 Giltrap Group North Island Formula Ford Series Points after 5/7 rounds (Top 8)
1/ Liam Sceats 785
2/ Blake Dowdall 756
3/ Mason Potter 741
4/ Dylan Grant 712
5/ Alex Crosbie 567
6/ Leo Scott 539
7/ Judd Christiansen 496
8/ Sebastian Manson 459

Race Results
Race 1 (Pos, Car #, Driver, Car)
1/ 15, Dylan Grant, Van Diemen RF03
2/ 1, Alex Crosbie, Ray GR21
3/ 50, Blake Knowles, Van Diemen RF05
4/ 92, Greg Murphy, Van Diemen RF92
5/ 18, Kyan Davie, Spectrum 015
6/ 25, Daniel Brown, Ray GR21
7/ 17, Dylan Petch, Ray GR20
8/ 93, Mason Potter, Spectrum 015
9/ 69, Sebastian Manson, Spectrum 015
10/ 20, Hayden Bakkerus, Mygale
11/ 75, Jack Noble-Adams, Ray GR21
12/ 73, Caleb Byers, Ray GR21
13/ 125, Judd Christensen, Van Diemen Stealth
14/ 7, Tony Graham
15/ 190, Martin Lucas, Lotus
16/ 42, Keith Miller, Van Diemen RF01
17/ 90, Zach Blincoe, Mygale SJ07
DNF 5, Kim Crocker, Ray
DNF 28, Will Neale, Van Diemen Stealth
DNF 6, Blake Dowdall, Spectrum 015
DNF 99, Leo Scott, Spectrum 05
DNF 51, Mike Davidson, 1984 Reynard Historic

Race 2 (Pos, Car #, Driver, Car)
1/ 1, Alex Crosbie, Ray GR21
2/ 15, Dylan Grant, Van Diemen RF03
3/ 6, Blake Dowdall, Spectrum 015
4/ 92, Greg Murphy, Van Diemen RF92
5/ 25, Daniel Brown, Ray GR21
6/ 18, Kyan Davie, Spectrum 015
7/ 75, Jack Noble-Adams, Ray GR21
8/ 99, Leo Scott, Spectrum 05
9/ 20, Hayden Bakkerus, Mygale
10/ 69, Sebastian Manson, Spectrum 015
11/ 93, Mason Potter, Spectrum 015
12/ 73, Caleb Byers, Ray GR21
13/ 28, Will Neale, Van Diemen Stealth
14/ 90, Zach Blincoe, Mygale SJ07
15/ 7, Tony Graham
16/ 125, Judd Christensen, Van Diemen Stealth
17/ 190, Martin Lucas, Lotus
DNF 50, Blake Knowles, Van Diemen RF05
DNF 17, Dylan Petch, Ray GR20
DNF 5, Kim Crocker, Ray
DNF 51, Mike Davidson, 1984 Reynard Historic
DNS 42, Keith Miller, Van Diemen RF01

Race 3 (Pos, Car #, Driver, Car)
1/ 6, Blake Dowdall, Spectrum 015
2/ 92, Greg Murphy, Van Diemen RF92
3/ 93, Mason Potter, Spectrum 015
4/ 18, Kyan Davie, Spectrum 015
5/ 25, Daniel Brown, Ray GR21
6/ 75, Jack Noble-Adams, Ray GR21
7/ 73, Caleb Byers, Ray GR21
8/ 69, Sebastian Manson, Spectrum 015
9/ 50, Blake Knowles, Van Diemen RF05
10/ 17, Dylan Petch, Ray GR20
11/ 28, Will Neale, Van Diemen Stealth
12/ 125, Judd Christensen, Van Diemen Stealth
13/ 1, Alex Crosbie, Ray GR21
14/ 51, Mike Davidson, 1984 Reynard Historic
15/ 7, Tony Graham
16/ 15, Dylan Grant, Van Diemen RF03
17/ 190, Martin Lucas, Lotus
18/ 42, Keith Miller, Van Diemen RF01
DNF 99, Leo Scott, Spectrum 05
DNF 20, Hayden Bakkerus, Mygale
DNF 5, Kim Crocker, Ray
DQ 90, Zach Blincoe, Mygale SJ07

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