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Stanaway wraps up Formula Ford title


Tauranga’s Richie Stanaway is the 2009 New Zealand Formula Ford Champion after a meteoric showing in his first full season in the open-wheelers

Stanaway wrapped up the MTA series title in the finale at Pukekohe last weekend, but suffered a setback when technical officials ruled his Mygale’s carburettor didn’t comply with the rules.

They stripped him of his pole qualifying position and the victory and points from race one.

But he’d gone to Pukekohe with a solid points lead, and his nearest rival, Aucklander Mitch Evans (14), dropped out of race one with a broken clutch.

Evans finished second in the series, ahead of Stefan Webling (Oakura, Taranaki).

Invercargill teenager, Damon Leitch, won last weekend’s round, his second overall victory of the season.

Webling was second overall at Pukekohe with Evans’ older brother, Simon, third.

Webling won Saturday’s race (after Stanaway’s exclusion) ahead of Wellingtonian Jamie McNee (15), Leitch, Simon Evans, Russell Hartley (Kati Kati) and Barry Sullivan (Nelson).

In race two, Stanaway battled through from the rear of the grid to finish second behind Mitch Evans. Leitch was third ahead of McNee and Simon Evans and Penrose.

The top seven cars traded places throughout race three, and Stanaway scored a wafer-thin win – by 0.039 seconds from Leitch. Then came Mitch Evans, Penrose and Simon Evans.

Final championship points: Richie Stanaway (Tauranga)  1215; Mitchell Evans (Auckland)  1111; Stefan Webling (Oakura)  1092; Jamie McNee (Wellington)  1014; Damon Leitch (Invercargill)  1007; Simon Evans (Auckland)  956; Matthew Penrose (Rangiora)  924;  Martin Short (Hamilton)  768; Brett Sullivan (Nelson)  678.


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