Max Vidau has clinched the 2017 Australian Formula Ford Series in a tense final round at Phillip Island, with the title not decided until the very last race of the season.

Vidau looked set to cruise to victory after entering the weekend 45 points ahead of his nearest rival, Cameron Shields, and increasing his lead to 46 when he picked up a point for qualifying on pole position. Third place in Race 1 behind Shields and Jayden Ojeda saw Vidau’s margin reduced to a still-commanding 40 points, but tensions increased when Vidau was caught up in an incident in Race 2, sustaining damage to his Sonic Motor Racing Mygale and limping to the finish line in a non-scoring 19th position while Shields claimed another race win to close the margin to 20 points. To win the title, Shields needed a first-place finish in Race 3 along with another nil points haul for Vidau; he achieved the first objective, but Vidau executed a classy drive from the rear of the field to third place, scoring the points he needed to wrap up the championship. The final margin between Vidau and Shields was just 14 points. Vidau becomes the first South Australian to win a national Formula Ford title since Nick Percat in 2009, and also wins entry into December’s prestigious Mazda Road to Indy $200k Scholarship Shootout in America.