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Chambers claims milestone Formula Regional victory
By Iwan Jones
Sunday 12th February, 2023 - 1:46pm
Chloe Chambers has achieved her first circuit racing victory in the penultimate race of the 2023 Formula Regional Oceania Championship at Taupo International Motorsport Park.
Starting from pole in the reverse grid race, Chambers claimed a light-to-flag victory, taking the chequered flag ahead of Hampton Downs race winner Kaleb Ngatoa and Charlie Wurz, with the latter now holding a three-point lead in the championship fight heading into the feature race decider.
In doing so, she becomes the first woman to win a race in New Zealand’s Toyota-based open-wheel category and any of the FIA’s global Formula Regional championships.
“It feels really good and it’s also my first win in cars as well, so it feels great after everything this season,” the former W Series driver said.
“At the beginning, Kaleb was hanging with me and I know he tried a couple of times to get past but I just kept cool, kept putting in the laps and was able to do that all the way through the race and just build a little bit of a gap towards the end.
“It’s an important moment for my own confidence. I’m going into the 2023 season with great confidence and to have my first win behind me is a great thing.”
Chambers cruises to maiden victory
Ngatoa was the only driver able to mount a challenge against Chambers who claimed victory by 1.582s on new scrubbed tyres.
Wurz, who was a distant third by 11.799s swung the championship battle in his favour by moving up to P3 at Turn 1 on the opening lap.
He bested title rival and Race 1 winner Callum Hedge by three places on the road, with the Kiwi unable to break free from a pack on a mixed combination of tyres, although he was the beneficiary of a post-race penalty for Josh Mason after contact with Ryan Shehan.
New Zealand Grand Prix winner Laurens van Hoepen was fourth, ahead of M2 competition driver Liam Sceats in fifth.
Hedge was sixth, ahead of Louis Foster, with Australian Ryder Quinn in eighth.
American Jacob Abel was ninth, as James Penrose rounded out the top 10.
Adam Fitzgerald, Tom McLennan, David Morales, Bree Morris, Shehan and Mason completed the field.
Heading into the final race of the season, whoever finishes ahead between polesitter Wurz and Hedge will claim the 2023 Formula Regional Oceania Championship and the Denny Hulme Trophy.
Race 2 Result
1. Chloe Chambers (USA) – Giles Motorsport
2. Kaleb Ngatoa (NZL) – Giles Motorsport
3. Charlie Wurz (AUT) – M2 Competition
4. Laurens van Hoepen (NED) – M2 Competition
5. Liam Sceats (NZL) – M2 Competition
6. Callum Hedge (NZL) – M2 Competition
7. Louis Foster (GBR) – Giles Motorsport
8. Ryder Quinn (AUS) – M2 Competition
9. Jacob Abel (USA) – Kiwi Motorsport
10. James Penrose (NZL) – Kiwi Motorsport
11. Adam Fitzgerald (IRL) – Giles Motorsport
12. Tom McLennan (AUS) – Kiwi Motorsport
13. David Morales (USA) – M2 Competition
14. Bree Morris (NZL) – Giles Motorsport
15. Ryan Shehan (USA) – Giles Motorsport
16. Josh Mason (GBR) – Kiwi Motorsport*
DNF: Lucas Fecury (BRA) – Kiwi Motorsport
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