Media 77


#17 Callum Hedge #70 Ethan Anderson #23 Jordan Michels Timaru 2017


Southland’s Jordan Michels leads the New Zealand Formula 1600 Championship after the opening round in Timaru on Saturday.  Also doubling as the second round of the South Island F1600 Championship, Michels has extended his lead in the series continuing his winning form from a fortnight ago in Christchurch.

Fastest throughout the weekend and making his F1600 race debut was Auckland’s Callum Hedge (Mygale).  Having topped the time sheets in Friday practice and in Saturday morning’s qualifying, the 13 year old went on to comfortably win the first two of three races.  However, a slipping clutch in the final 12-lap race saw Hedge retire, the round win slipping out of his grasp.

Second quickest over the weekend was Joshua Bethune (Mygale).  Having twice finished runner up to Hedge he took over the lead in the third race only to have electrical gremlins rob him of the win.  He dropped down the order but still finished in 13th and holds onto fifth in the South Island and third in the national championship.

Michels has arguably had his share of bad luck and this round his and the team’s experience shone through.  His win in the third race secured the round win after finishing third in the two-preceding races.

“It was a fantastic turn of luck,” commented Michels.  “We have had some tough years and it was me who didn’t finish the final race a year ago in Timaru.”

“In saying that, we mustn’t get into a false sense of security but continue to work as this is a championship where you must finish races.”

Also impressive in only his second F1600 outing was Nelson’s Matt Butchart (Van Diemen RF88) competing in the Historic Class 3 category.  Winner of the South Island F1600 Club Scholarship, Butchart was the leading Class 3 car in all three races and now leads the national championship.  However, it is Joseph Oliver (Crossle) who leads the South Island series having finished all six races so far with Butchart having one race retirement in the opening round.

“It’s been a steep learning curve and half the battle has been just learning the track,” commented Butchart.  “It’s been great to be competing up amongst the top Class 1 cars today.”

Robert Toshach continues to be difficult to beat in Class 2.  Toshach (Spectrum) has now been the leading Class 2 car in all six South Island series races.

“It’s been a matter of keeping it consistent,” said Toshach.  “Very happy to have finished the weekend with a good result.”

Also showing consistent result for the weekend was Southland’s Ethan Anderson (Van Diemen Stealth) and Christchurch rookie Bailey Paterson who is currently in second in the SI series ahead of Anderson, while Anderson slots into second overall in the national series.  Returning to the category is Kurt Peterson who was on target for a podium in the final race before a starter-motor issue saw him retire out of the race.

Drivers and teams will head to Invercargill for the next South Island round 2-3 December before the next two national rounds in January, also in the South Island.

2017/18 New Zealand Formula 1600 Championship
Overall Championship Points after 1/5 rounds (Top 10)
1    Jordan Michels    102
2    Ethan Anderson    91
3    Josh Bethune    83
4    Callum Hedge    82
5    Bailey Paterson    81
6    Robert Toshach    72
7    Steve Edwards    66
8    Matt Butchart    58
9    Kurt Peterson    50
10    Steve Heffernan    50

2017/18 South Island Formula 1600 Championships
Overall Championship Points after 2/6 rounds
1    Jordan Michels    Mygale    219
2    Bailey Paterson    Stealth    191
3    Ethan Anderson    Stealth    178
4    Robert Toshach    Spectrum    146
5    Josh Bethune    Mygale    140
6    Kurt Peterson    Stealth    135
7    Steve Edwards    Mygale    130
8    Steve Heffernan    Stealth    104
9    Simon Spencer-Bower    Stealth    103
10    Matt Butchart    VD RF88    94

Race 1 (10 laps)
1    Callum Hedge Mygale SJ08
2    Josh Bethune Mygale SJ07
3    Jordan Michels Mygale SJ13
4    Ethan Anderson Van Diemen Stealth
5    Kurt Peterson  Van Diemen Stealth
6    Bailey Paterson  Van Diemen Stealth
7    Robert Toshach  Spectrum 08
8    Steve Edwards  Mygale SJ08a
9    Matthew Butchart Van Diemen FR88
10    Derek Wilson Swift SC92F
11    Ben Stiles  Van Diemen Stealth
12    Stephen Heffernan   Van Diemen Stealth
13    Joseph Oliver  Crossle F55
14    Simon Spencer-Bower   Van Diemen RF93
15    Noel Atley  Swift FB91
16    Andy Downs  Lola 642E
17    Roger McKenzie  Begg FM3
18    Dave McKenzie  Begg FM3
DNS    Grant Campbell  Van Diemen RF03
DNS    Dyson Freeman  Van Diemen RF92

Race 2 (10 laps)
1    Callum Hedge
2    Josh Bethune
3    Jordan Michels
4    Ethan Anderson
5    Bailey Paterson
6    Kurt Peterson
7    Robert Toshach
8    Steve Edwards
9    Simon Spencer-Bower
10    Matthew Butchart
11    Ben Stiles
12    Stephen Heffernan
13    Derek Wilson
14    Joseph Oliver
15    Noel Atley
16    Roger McKenzie
17    Dave McKenzie
DNF    Andy Downs
DNS    Grant Campbell
DNS    Dyson Freeman

Race 3 (12 laps)
1    Jordan Michels
2    Ethan Anderson
3    Bailey Paterson
4    Robert Toshach
5    Steve Edwards
6    Matthew Butchart
7    Stephen Heffernan
8    Ben Stiles
9    Derek Wilson
10    Joseph Oliver
11    Simon Spencer-Bower
12    Noel Atley
13    Josh Bethune
14    Roger McKenzie
15    Dave McKenzie
DNF    Kurt Peterson
DNF    Callum Hedge
DNS    Grant Campbell
DNS    Andy Downs

2017/18 New Zealand Formula 1600 Championship Calendar
Rnd 1     10-11 November 2017     Timaru International Motor Raceway
Rnd 2     12-14 January 2018     Mike Pero Motorsport Park, Christchurch
Rnd 3     19-21 January 2018     Teretonga Park, Invercargill
Rnd 4     2-4 February 2018     Taupo Motorsport Park
Rnd 5     9-11 February 2018     Manfeild Circuit, Manawatu

2017/18 South Island Formula 1600 Championship Calendar
Rnd 1: October 27-29 2017, Mike Pero Motorsport Park, Ruapuna, Christchurch
Rnd 2: November 10/11 2017, Timaru International Raceway, Timaru (Long track); (also Rd 1 NZ Formula Ford Championship)
Rnd 3: December 2-3 2017, Teretonga Park Raceway, Invercargill
Rnd 4: January 12-14 2018, Mike Pero Motorsport Park, Ruapuna (also Rd 2 NZ Formula Ford Championship)
Rnd 5: January 19-21 2018, Teretonga Park Raceway, Invercargill; (also Rd 3 NZ Formula Ford Championship)
Rnd 6: March 24 2018, Timaru International Raceway, Timaru (Long track)

For more information contact Benjamin Carrell on 0272 444 651 or via e-mail on benjamin@sundaybusiness.co.nz