Formula Ford rookie clinches title.
Richie Stanaway has all but clinched the MTA New Zealand Formula Ford after scoring a runaway win in the first heat at Pukekohe this afternoon.
His chief rival Mitchell Evans lost his chance of taking the crown when he slid off the track at the hairpin while challenging Stanaway for the lead on the first lap of the restarted race.
From then on Stanaway was untroubled and opened a huge gap on a four-way dice for second place among Simon Evans, Jamie McNee, Stefan Webling and Damon Leitch.
The quartet fought the whole distance, with the drivers jostling for the aerodynamic advantage, and places changing lap by lap.
On the final run to the flag, Webling got the upper hand and crossed the line second, followed by McNee and Leitch.
Earlier in the day, Brady Kennett (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) drove to a comfortable win in the Production series race.
Zane Coppins (Evo 9) closed in on Kennett during the closing laps as they began lapping slower cars, but came home second.
Gene Rollinson drove the front-wheel drive Mazda 3 MPS to third place after stalking and then passing Kevin Varney’s Subaru Impreza WRX STi.