WAU junior wins back Formula Ford lead
Saturday 10th June, 2023 - 1:51pm
Two race wins at Winton Motor Raceway have re-established Matt Hillyer as the pace-setter in the Australian Formula Ford Series.
The Walkinshaw Andretti United mechanic/Toyota 86 driver led from lights-flag in both and now heads the title chase ahead of previous points leader Colin Hill Engineering’s Zak Lobko.
After Team Sonic Mygale drivers locked out the top three positions on the starting grid for Race 1, they scored a one-two result in the first race with Jake Santalucia second while Synergy Motorsport’s Eddy Beswick (Spectrum) was third.
Hillyer led Santalucia as Beswick made a great start to be in front of Sonic’s Conor Somers, Altatek Racing’s Kobi Williams, Borland Racing’s Xavair Kokai and Lobko.
The race was almost immediately brought under the control of the Safety Car. Lachie Mineeff spun at Turn 1 and caused minor damage to BF Racing’s Tom Davies and his Mygale team-mate Fraser Hie while CHE’s Imogen Radburn went off in avoidance.
The race resumed green at the end of Lap 4, where Hillyer held off Santalucia and Beswick. Williams displaced Somers and tagged onto the back of the front three over the concluding laps.
Lobko picked up two places for fifth, just in front of Somers, Kokai and Daniel Frougas. Two seconds behind the quartet was another five cars in close company with Cody Maynes-Rutty just in front of Harrison Sellars, Jack Busy, Leo Scott and Mineeff.
Behind Hillyer at the start of the second outing, Williams made an excellent start, slipped past Beswick at Turn 1 to be third, and then passed snared second off Santalucia at Turn 3.
Lobko was fifth at the end of the first lap and took Beswick at Turn 7 on the fourth lap. Lobko further improved later in the race when he passed Santalucia at Turn 4.
The latter came under challenge from Beswick at the start of the final lap. Beswick slid into Santalucia at Turn 1, which resulted in him spinning off.
Beswick held his place and crossed the line fourth. Kokai was next, ahead of Maynes-Rutty, Sellars, Scott, Bussey and Frougas who recovered from an early off at Turn 1 that dropped him from seventh to 13th.