First Round Win For Munro
3 FEBRUARY 2013
First Round Win For Munro
Christchurch driver James Munro has recorded his first round win in the New Zealand Formula Ford Championship.
In just his third weekend in the championship the recently turned 16-year-old set the fastest time in qualifying, won two of the three races, took the round victory and moved up to second in the point standings in what was another eye catching performance at Hampton Downs in north Waikato.
"Everything went pretty smoothly," said Munro as he waited to take the top step on the podium at the post event presentation. "We had a good base and we have made up a bit of distance on championship leader Brendon Leitch."
Despite the fact he had never raced at Hampton Downs previously the championship rookie put his Mygale on pole position for the third consecutive round in Saturday mornings qualifying session. "Getting pole at every round so far is a real confidence boost," he explained. "It helps being on pole.and I have been winning races by breaking away early in the race." However in the opening race on Saturday afternoon James dropped down the order early on after making a couple of mistakes. He fought his way back to second place and was left with four laps to catch race leader Tom Alexander of Christchurch. While he clawed back one and a half seconds he ran out of time to make the pass and took second place at the end of the ten lap contest.
In the second race on Sunday morning Munro hit the lead from the start while Alexander was again his closest rival. "Tom kept me honest and had a couple of looks." However Munro held on to secure the win. Again in the finale Munro managed to lead from the start and opened a break on the field over the first couple of laps. As the laps wound down Munro eased up and a cautious passing manoeuvre on a backmarker allowed Alexander to close in but Munro was not to be denied.
Munro won the round from Alexander and Leitch of Invercargill and now trails Leitch by just 35 points in the championship. He has now won five of the nine races held. His first impressions of Hampton Downs - "it is a great track with good facilities. It is wide and flowing and quite different. It was a real learning experience. It was a little harder to break away from the field here, possibly because of the uphill run."
The next round of the championship takes place at Manfeild Park in Feilding next weekend as a support class to the New Zealand Grand Prix.
CALENDAR -- 2013 NZ FORMULA FORD
Round 1: 12-13 January 2013 - Teretonga Park, Invercargill
Round 2: 19-20 January 2013 - Timaru International Motor Raceway, Levels, Timaru
Round 3: 2-3 February 2013 - Hampton Downs, Waikato
Round 4: 9-10 February 2013 - Manfeild Park, Feilding
Round 5: 9-10 March 2013 - Taupo Motorsport Park, Taupo