17-year old Angelo Mouzouris has scored his maiden Australian Formula Ford Championship race win in Race 1 at the Winton Supersprint.
Starting second, the Victorian teenager driving for Sonic Motor Racing Services got the lead off the start after pole-sitter Callum Hedge crept forward before the lights went out and fell back to third before the first corner. The New Zealander was penalised five seconds for the jump start and was relegated back to seventh after crossing the line in second.
Series leader Tom Sargent recovered strongly from his struggles in Qualifying to charge from 11th to second.
Formula Ford rookie Jay Hanson scored his first top three result in third, while Liam McLellan impressed in his charge from the back of the grid to fourth, while Victorian state series racer Ben D’Alia also starred inside the top five on his return to national level.
Mouzouris built a three-second gap over Hedge before the safety car was called with one lap remaining to retrieve Zac Soutar and Jake Donaldson after they touched at Turn 9. After a full stewards hearing, Soutar was penalised five championship points which have been wholly suspended until the end of the 2019 season.
An investigation was also made into Callum Hedge’s safety car restart procedure, though no breach was found.
Courtney Prince was handed a five second penalty for a dangerous reentry at Turn 10 on Lap 3.
Mouzouris took the chequered flag 1.5 seconds ahead of Sargent, with Hanson a further two seconds behind.
The Australian Formula Ford Championship returns to the track on Sunday for Race 2 at 8:15am, and Race 3 at 3:50pm.
First - Angelo Mouzouris
#2 Mygale - Sonic Motor Racing Services
“I’m really ecstatic to get my first national win in front of the Supercars crowd here at Winton,” said Mouzouris.
“Sonic Motor Racing Services did a great job to change over to the wet setup on the dummy grid, and using our experience from the wet practice sessions yesterday we were able to perform strongly when the conditions really took a turn for the worst when our race started.
“We were able to pull away by a fair bit early in the race, we built a good buffer before the safety car came out and we were able to keep it together and bring home the win.
“We’re showing off our new colours this weekend for Pitbox, it’s great to bring home a win for them and hopefully we can continue that for Races 2 and 3 tomorrow.”
Second - Tom Sargent
#47 Mygale - CHE Racing Team
“We struggled with setup on Friday, so to come back stronger in the wet and make up a few spots today was great,” said Sargent.
“These Formula Fords are so tough to drive in the wet, so it was just about keeping the car as straight as I could and we’re happy to bring home a great result for the team when it counts.”
Third - Jay Hanson
#4 Mygale - Sonic Motor Racing Services
“It’s awesome to get my first top three race result here at the Supercar round up against this field with so many tough competitors," said Hanson.
“I got a good start and moved to second off the line. As the race progressed I was in third and then the safety car came out. Tom Sargent got the jump on me on the restart and I hung on to finish in the top three.”