Euan Cameron


Jamie Conroy & Michael Collins


The rivalry continues in the Ace Hire South Island Formula Ford Championship as the fourth round gets underway in Invercargill this weekend.  Twenty drivers will take to the grid including Christchurch’s Michael Collins and Southland’s Jamie Conroy at Teretonga Park.  

The competition will be intense as points from the three races also go towards the second round of the NZ Formula Ford Championship.  Collins currently leads the Ace Hire series while Conroy heads the national points table.

While Teretonga is Conroy’s home track it was Collins who came out with more points from the third round of the Ace Hire Series, also held in Invercargill in December.  Technical glitches hindered Conroy and the team has not been complacent over the Christmas break.

“We are doing a lot of work going over the car to make sure we avoid the glitches from the last round,” commented Conroy.

Coupled with this has been testing at the circuit in both wet and dry conditions.  “We are very happy with testing since the last round.  We’ve made a few changes and tried different gear ratios and are confident that we have made some improvements. “

Add into the mix an international flavour with the addition to the grid of young American driver Andrew Hobbs.  The 19 year old from Milwaukee, Wisconsin will compete in the two January rounds of the competition with John Crawford’s Motorsport Solutions.  Hobbs has come through the ranks of karting and has recent experience in the USF2000 single seater class.

The weather may play an important part of the weekend but Conroy is determined to make up lost ground from the last round.  “I think from the last round we have pretty good pace and I’m not too fazed by wet conditions and feel that we have a good setup for the rain.

With three classes competing the competitiveness between drivers goes right through the field;

At the last round in Class two (pre 1993) Steve Heffernan (Van Diemen RF92) increased his lead over Derek Wilson (Swift SC92) with Dyson Freeman third.

The Historic Class* (3) continues to be led by Doug Price (Reynard 1600) (HC2) while Graham Dickie (Begg FM3) and Laurie Henderson (van Diemen RF75) are tied on 30 points with the lead in HC1.

* The Historics have two separate classes, HC1 – cars built before July 1980 and HC2, cars built between July 1980 and December 1989

Points Table (Top 5) - after 3/6 rounds
1    Michael Collins    164
2    Jamie Conroy   142
3    Ryan Yardley   116
4    Robert Toshach 84
5    Steve Edwards   78

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