Pukekohe's Liam Lawson has retained the lead in the CAMS Jayco Australian Formula 4 championship after the latest round in Perth with another race win but his margin has been cut to 4 points.
The 15-year-old racer was on target for another round victory until mechanical gremlins slowed his car in the final race after a safety car restart, dropping from third to ninth at the finish. It was the first time Lawson hasn't been on the podium in nine races.
Joining the V8 Supercars at Barbagallo Raceway, Lawson qualified his RetroCar.co.nz-sponsored Formula 4 in third place and scooped a podium place after local hero and race winner Nick Rowe was handed a five-seconds penalty for a jump start.
Lawson looked on target for another round win after a sensational victory in Race 2. Starting the reverse-grid race in fourth, Lawson took two places before the first corner and then shadowed his BRM teammate and race leader Josh Denton for most of the 16 laps. Denton was struggling with worn tyres and Lawson pounced two laps from the finish to take over the lead.
The final race of the weekend was interrupted with the only Safety Car period of the weekend and on the restart Lawson's car speed was hindered by a computer issue that robbed the engine of power and he fell backwards through the field.
"The last race was not ideal but at least we came away still with the championship lead which was my goal for the weekend," said Lawson.
"With Scotty (McLaughlin) and Fabian (Coulthard) winning in the V8's it's been a great weekend here for the Kiwi drivers. We're leading both the V8 and Formula 4 championships."
The CAMS Jayco Formula 4 championship now heads to Victoria's Phillip Island circuit at the end of May before a two month break and then the final three rounds, which conclude on the streets of the Gold Coast in October.
Lawson's campaign is proudly supported by RetroCar.co.nz, Giltrap Group, NZ Childcare Finance, Cyrus International Cargo and Showerdome.
CAMS Jayco Australian Formula 4 Championship points (top six):
1. Liam Lawson 164 points
2. Nick Rowe 160
3. Cameron Shileds 121
4. Josh Denton 94
5. Ryan Suhle 77
6. Taylor Everingham 68
Liam Lawson 021 173 3624
Jared Lawson 027 547 7515
Grant McDonald 027 227 3554