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Louis Foster wins on debut at Manfeild
By Iwan Jones
Saturday 28th January, 2023 - 5:42pm
Louis Foster has claimed a race victory on debut in Round 3 of the Formula Regional Oceania Championship at Manfeild Circuit Chris Amon.
Foster bested polesitter Charlie Wurz to the chequered flag in the 22-lap race, with Highlands Motorsport Park and Teretonga Park race winner Callum Hedge crossing the line third.
However, a 10-second post-race penalty for Wurz for a Safety Car restart infringement saw him classified ninth, with Hedge promoted to second, while Jacob Abel completed the podium.
Foster was elated to convert his strong practice and qualifying pace into a race victory, after jetting into New Zealand on Friday.
“It was a good race, I knew from lap one or two that we had a decent amount of pace,” the current Indy Pro 2000 champion said.
“I was just trying to get past cleanly which I managed to do. I then tried to build a good gap and just kept my head down and kept going, especially after the two Safety Car periods.
“I had three moments where it was a bit sketchy but I learned from those. I’ve always enjoyed the wet though and I’ve always managed to get good results in wet races.”
After settling into a rhythm following strong starts from the frontrunners, Foster diced with Wurz for the lead on Lap 2, before the Safety Car was brought out after contact between Liam Sceats and Abel – with Sceats ending up in the gravel trap at Turn 1.
Shortly after the restart, Foster secured the lead of the race after completing a move around the outside of Wurz at Turn 1, before driving off into clear air.
The Safety Car was brought out for a second time after Irishman Adam Fitzgerald found himself in the gravel trap.
As the race resumed with four laps to go, Foster held off Wurz, who faced a challenge from Hedge, as Abel made his way past Ryder Quinn in a move that would see him secure a podium.
Foster went onto cross the line over 3s clear of Wurz, with Hedge and Abel following.
Following the issuing of the post-race penalty, David Morales was classified fourth, with New Zealander James Penrose in fifth.
Brit Josh Mason was sixth, ahead of American Ryan Shehan, with W Series driver Chloe Chambers eighth.
Wurz was classified ahead of Australian Tom McLennan who rounded out the top 10.
Bree Morris and Lucas Fecury were classified 11th and 12th respectively, while a late off for Quinn, who impressed in qualifying to start from third, saw him classified 13th.
New Zealander Billy Frazer was the last of the finishers, with Fitzgerald and Sceats classified as DNFs.
Tomorrow’s action will include Race 2, feature race qualifying, as well as the feature race itself.
Race 1 Result
1. Louis Foster (UK)
2. Callum Hedge (NZ)
3. Jacob Abel (USA)
4. David Morales (USA)
5. James Penrose (NZ)
6. Josh Mason (UK)
7. Ryan Shehan (USA)
8. Chloe Chambers (USA)
9. Charlie Wurz (Austria) *
10. Tom McLennan (Aus)
11. Bree Morris (NZ)
12. Lucas Fecury (Bra)
13. Ryder Quinn (Aus)
14. Billy Frazer (NZ)
DNF – Adam Fitzgerald (Ire)
DNF – Liam Sceats (NZ)
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