The privateer Mygale of Jake Spencer emerged victorious from Round 1 of the Australian Formula Ford National Series at Sandown on the weekend, capitalising on a consistent string of results to hold off fierce competition.
The victory marks Spencer’s maiden overall victory in national Formula Ford competition, and the first win by a privateer team for more than a decade - a significant achievement welcomed by the Formula Ford community.
Despite not claiming victory at Sandown, Spencer remained fast at the head of the field, crossing the line in all three races on the podium. The young Victorian also benefitted from incidents involving main rivals Christian Morina and Hamish Hardeman late in the final 10-lap race, clearing the path for second place.
With a win in Race 2, Morina was looking to capitalise on his front row start in the finale. Unfortunately, the Sonic Mygale ran wide at Turn 9 after contact from behind, forcing the Victorian to embark on a recovery drive to an eventual P10.
A strong weekend nevertheless saw Morina home second overall.
Hill was the man in control in Race 3. The privateer from the ACT made a fast start from the second row, climbing his way through the field to lead by the end of Lap 3. From the front, Hill never lost his nerve, coming home to claim the chequered.
Hardeman was among the favourites to claim overall honours at Sandown, and got his weekend off to a great start with a Race 1 win in mixed weather conditions.
Another strong finish of third in Race 2 set up the Sonic prepared Victorian with a good shot at victory, however it all came unstuck with a mistake in Race 3, dropping to 12th and consolidating fourth overall by virtue of his early speed.
It was a solid debut for Borland Racing Developments’ Mitch Martin, coming home in fifth. The VHT supported Spectrum made a strong finish in the final race, dicing with the front running order for most of the weekend.
Nick Ellen followed closely in sixth, showing his experience and pace as one to look out for later this season.
The 2014 Victorian champion Adrian Lazzaro stepped up to National level competition at Sandown, and made an immediate strong impression. The apprentice electrician was running as high as second in Race 3, looming for a lead challenge. He unfortunately missed out of a podium after a small mistake at Turn 9 relegated him to P5.
Caitlin Wood, Damon Strongman and Thomas Maxwell rounded out the top 10 - all keeping a clean set of heels to top the weekend off on a high note.
Jimmy Bailey and his family-run crew meanwhile deservingly won the Kent class, being the only Kent Formula Ford at Sandown.
A mammoth effort however from the Baileys saw the team arrive all the way from Queensland on Friday evening, sort out some early weekend gremlins and press on with racing, making their achievement all the more worthwhile.
With the first of six rounds run and won, Spencer leads the Series standings, with 46 points in hand, Morina in second with 42 and Hill in third with 40.
Round 2 of 6 of the Series takes place at Phillip Island, May 22-24 - a familiar testing ground for many of the powerhouse teams.
Formula Ford is proudly supported by category sponsors Avon Tyres, Ferodo Racing, Kinchrome Tools, Castrol and the Mazda Road to Indy programme run by Anderson Promotions.