Rookie Bailey Paterson takes South Island F1600 Championship lead

pic: Dave Louden Photography

Rookie Christchurch driver Bailey Paterson has emerged as the new leader of the 2017/18 South Island Formula 1600 Championship at the halfway point of the season. At the third round of the series held over the weekend at Teretonga Park, Invercargill, Paterson finished on the podium three times including taking his second race win of the season. Second for the round showing consistent form was Kurt Peterson with Robert Toshach third, in an older Class 2 car.

“It was a great weekend,” commented Paterson. “We had some luck bouncing back from some disappointment at Timaru (Round 2). I’m thrilled to have the lead but with three rounds to go, anything can happen.”

Jordan Michels went into the weekend leading the round from Paterson with fellow Southlander Ethan Anderson in third. These three drivers took the top three podium positions in the first two races but a coming together between Michels and Anderson in the final race saw both not finishing and dropping points to their rival competitors.

“Points were looking good until race 3,” commented Michels. “We got pole position (in qualifying) which was great reward but things went downhill in race three.

“There’s a bolt that connects the steering to the upright which broke and unfortunately for Ethan (Anderson) he was right beside me and we both went into the gravel trap ending our race. It was one of those weekends you would rather forget.”

Anderson’s win in the second race came on top of his second placing behind Paterson in race 1.

“The round went very well,” said Anderson. “The car was ‘on-fire’ so really happy with the speed for the weekend. Not finishing the third race hasn’t helped but lots of positives for the team from the weekend.”

Rookie driver Josh Bethune won the third race that finished under safety car after the Michels/Anderson coming-together. While Bethune has scored four podiums this season, two race retirements sees him sitting sixth overall on the points table.

Finishing runner up for the round has been just reward for Kurt Peterson who now lies fifth overall behind Toshach. The Auckland driver has returned to the category after an absence of nine years and has been the steady improver over the nine races completed so far.

In the Historic Class 3 category, rookie driver Matt Butchart won the round from Joseph Oliver but is still lying second overall, just 10 points behind the latter.

Drivers and teams now take a break over Christmas before the fourth and fifth rounds in January over consecutive weekends supporting the 2018 Toyota Racing Series. Christchurch hosts its second round of the season 12-14 January with drivers returning to Teretonga a week later. Both events also double as the second and third rounds of the New Zealand Formula 1600 Championship.

2017/18 South Island Formula 1600 Championships

Overall Championship Points after 3/6 rounds (Top 10)

1 Bailey Paterson 297
2 Jordan Michels 287
3 Ethan Anderson 253
4 Robert Toshach 224
5 Kurt Peterson 214
6 Josh Bethune 208
7 Steve Edwards 178
8 Steve Heffernan 176
9 Matt Butchart 154
10 Simon Spencer-Bower 147

Race 1 results (10 laps)

1 Bailey Paterson Stealth
2 Ethan Anderson Stealth
3 Jordan Michels Mygale
4 Josh Bethune Mygale
5 Robert Toshach Spectrum
6 Steve Edwards Mygale
7 Steve Heffernan Stealth
8 Kurt Peterson Stealth
9 Matt Butchart VD RF88
10 Joseph Oliver Crossle
11 Derek Wilson Swift
12 Simon Spencer-Bower Stealth
13 Noel Atley Swift
14 Cameron Freeman VD RF92
15 Ben Stiles Stealth
16 James Dicey Spectrum
17 Robin Williams VD RF92
18 Graham Dickie Lola
19 Andy Downs Lola
DNS Dave McKenzie

Race 2 (7 Laps)

1 Ethan Anderson Stealth
2 Jordan Michels Mygale
3 Bailey Paterson Stealth
4 Kurt Peterson Stealth
5 Robert Toshach Spectrum
6 Steve Edwards Mygale
7 Steve Heffernan Stealth
8 Joseph Oliver Crossle
9 Matt Butchart VD RF88
10 Noel Atley Swift
11 Cameron Freeman VD RF92
12 Simon Spencer-Bower Stealth
13 Ben Stiles Stealth
14 Graham Dickie Lola
15 Robin Williams VD RF92
16 Dave McKenzie Begg FM3
DNS Josh Bethune Mygale
DNF Derek Wilson Swift
DNF James Dicey Spectrum
DNS Andy Downs Lola

Race 3 (9 laps)

1 Josh Bethune
2 Bailey Paterson
3 Kurt Peterson
4 Steve Heffernan
5 Robert Toshach
6 Matt Butchart
7 Joseph Oliver
8 Derek Wilson
9 Cameron Freeman
10 Simon Spencer-Bower
11 Ben Stiles
12 James Dicey
13 Robin Williams
14 Graham Dickie
15 Andy Downs
16 Dave McKenzie
DNF Ethan Anderson
DNF Jordan Michels
DNS Steve Edwards
DNF Noel Atley

2017/18 South Island Formula 1600 Championship Calendar

Rnd 1: October 27-29 2017, Mike Pero Motorsport Park, Ruapuna, Christchurch
Rnd 2: November 10/11 2017, Timaru International Raceway, Timaru (Long track); (also Rd 1 NZ Formula Ford Championship)
Rnd 3: December 2-3 2017, Teretonga Park Raceway, Invercargill
Rnd 4: January 12-14 2018, Mike Pero Motorsport Park, Ruapuna (also Rd 2 NZ Formula Ford Championship)
Rnd 5: January 19-21 2018, Teretonga Park Raceway, Invercargill; (also Rd 3 NZ Formula Ford Championship)
Rnd 6: March 24 2018, Timaru International Raceway, Timaru (Long track)

2017/18 New Zealand Formula 1600 Championship Calendar

Rnd 1 10-11 November 2017 Timaru International Motor Raceway
Rnd 2 12-14 January 2018 Mike Pero Motorsport Park, Christchurch
Rnd 3 19-21 January 2018 Teretonga Park, Invercargill
Rnd 4 2-4 February 2018 Taupo Motorsport Park
Rnd 5 9-11 February 2018 Manfeild Circuit, Manawatu