Valentino Astuti dominates Australian Formula Ford round at Phillip Island
Sonic Motor Racing Services driver Valentino Astuti has had a weekend to remember at Phillip Island, clinching pole position and three race wins aboard his Mygale Formula Ford. “It feels pretty good to take a clean-sweep this weekend, especially after our unfortunate round at Sandown,” said Astuti. On Friday, Astuti claimed the Freem $250 Pole Position Award, only 1 hundredth of a second faster than Sonic teammate Winston Smith. CHE Racing driver James Piszcyk had a great start of race 1, leading the field into turn 1. Piszcyk and Astuti then gave the fans a great example of wheel-to-wheel racing, swapping positions multiple times across the 9-lap encounter. It was Astuti in the end who took the chequered flag first, only 17 hundredths of a second ahead of Piszcyk. Winston Smith rounded up the podium for race 1, while Conor Somers drove an incredible race starting from 11th on the grid to finish in 5th place. Race 2 on Saturday afternoon was a classic Formula Ford encounter broadcasted live on Stan Sport. The 10-lap thriller saw the lead once again change numerous times with Astuti and Piszcyk sharing the clean air at the front of the pack. A hard-charging Cameron McLeod ended up joining the front-fighting drivers, finishing the race in second position and setting the fastest lap for race 2. Spectrum veteran Cody Donald also joined in in the podium celebrations, finishing in third place. After starting at the back of the field due to a DNS in race 1, Xavier Kokai charged forward to claim a top 10 finish. Our last race on Sunday was a great finale and showcased what Formula Ford is all about. Once again Mygale drivers Valentino Astuti and James Piszcyk shared the lead, using the big slipstreaming drafts like a game of high speed chess. Meanwhile, Spectrum contenders Cameron McLeod, Cody Donald, Clay Richards and Jordyn Sinni fought wheel-to-wheel the whole way through, fighting for third. It was once again Cody Donald who claimed the third step of the podium, taking the lead of the Series with his points haul. At the end of the 8 lapper, it was Astuti who crossed the finish line first, just 4 thousandths of a second ahead of Piszcyk. Xavier Kokai finished 5th in race 3, securing the CHI Hard Charger award for the weekend. Astuti was really happy with his perfect weekend and round win. “I kind of cleaned up this weekend, but the competition throughout the whole weekend was really tough, you know. Looking in the mirrors and battling amongst the group was really good. Everyone raced clean and I’m super happy with the end result getting Pole and the 3 wins,” said Astuti at the end of the weekend. The 2022 Australian Formula Ford Series now heads to Winton Motor Raceway, where we will be joining the Supercars Championship on the weekend of May 20-22.
2022 Australian Formula Ford Series Pointscore after round 2
1st - Cody Donald - 72pts
2nd - James Piszcyk - 67pts
2nd - Valentino Astuti - 67pts
4th - Jordyn Sinni - 64pts
5th - Clay Richards - 53pts
6th - Cameron McLeod - 44pts
7th - Winston Smith - 43pts
7th - Xavier Kokai - 43pts
9th - Jude Bargwanna - 25pts
10th - Conor Somers - 24pts
2022 Australian Formula Ford Series Calendar
Round 1: 26-27 February at Sandown Raceway (VIC State Championship) Round 2: 19-20 March - Phillip Island GP Circuit (Shannons Nationals) Round 3: 21-22 May - Winton Motor Raceway (Supercars) Round 4: 6-7 August at Sydney Motorsport Park (NSW State Championship) Round 5: 27-28 August at Morgan Park Raceway (QLD State Championship)* Round 6: 17-18 September at The Bend Motorsport Park (SA State Championship)* Round 7: 29-30 October at Sydney Motorsport Park (NSW State Championship)*
*denotes 2022 Australian FF1600 Series rounds.