Zac Soutar scored his maiden round victory at round four of the 2018 Australian Formula Ford Championship at Sandown Raceway.
The Victorian privateer scored one race win, as well as a second and fourth place in the three races held to take overall honours ahead of Liam McLellan and Hunter McElrea.
McElrea topped qualifying to score his third pole of the season by four-hundredths of a second over McLellan. The Sonic Motor Racing Services driver lead early in race one before a safety car intervention for a multi-car incident at turn one. On the restart, McElrea fell off the road at turn one, leaving Synergy Motorsport driver McLellan to take the win ahead of Soutar and BF Racing's Nathan Herne.
In race two, McElrea charged from ninth on the grid to reach the head of the field by lap three. Behind him, contact between McLellan and Herne on lap six saw them both drop down the order, leaving Angelo Mouzouris and Hamish Ribarits to fight for second and third, giving Sonic Motor Racing Services a full podium lock-out.
Race three was marred by multiple safety car interventions, before an incident involving Courtney Prince, Jake Donaldson and Matthew Holmes over the crest of the back straight brought the chequered flag out early. As a result, Prince was excluded from the meeting and received a monetary penalty. Soutar took the lead after the second restart to take his maiden race win ahead of McLellan and McElrea.
Soutar praised the efforts of his family-run team after scoring his first round win since joining the championship in 2017.
"We managed to get both our first race win which was incredible in itself, but to find out later we actually got the round win was a double bonus, and we moved into third in the championship which really caps off a breakthrough weekend for myself and Team Soutar Motorsport," said Soutar.
"To achieve what we have done this weekend is a really proud moment and i’m just ecstatic for myself and my team. It’s been fantastic, a dream come true."
Soutar now sits third in the championship standings, 47 points behind Ribarits in second. After a troubled start to the the weekend, McElrea extended his championship lead to 29 points.
Zac Soutar and Jason Liddell, winners of the Formula Ford and FF1600 classes respectively, received the Shell Award. After missing two rounds due to a knee injury, Cody Donald earned the CHI Hard Charger Award for his impressive results during his first round back in the Formula Ford field.
Round five of the 2018 Australian Formula Ford Championship will support the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship at the OTR Supersprint at The Bend Motorsport Park on August 24th-26th.
2018 AFFC Standings (Top 10)
Hunter McElrea - 207pts
Hamish Ribarits - 178pts
Zac Soutar - 131pts
Angelo Mouzouris - 112pts
Nathan Herne - 109pts
Liam McLellan - 105pts
Lachlan Mineeff - 92pts
Cameron Shields - 84pts
Bart Horsten - 82pts
Jake Donaldson - 58pts
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