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FORMULA FORD YOUNG GUNS TAKE TO THE BEND


Published at 9/14/2022

This year’s Australian Formula Ford Championship is being dominated by a host of future stars, and this weekend they head to The Bend on September 17-18 for the series’ penultimate round.

The series is a veritable breeding ground for some of Australia’s most accomplished racers, such as Larry Perkins, Craig Lowndes and Jamie Whincup; plus a litany of current Supercars stars such as Will Davison, Cam Waters and Chaz mostert, to name just a few.

The top of the table has a 72 point spread from first to fifth, with CHE Racing’s James Piszcyk doing enough at last round’s Morgan Park Raceway to keep his lead.

Occupying second on the table is Valentino Astuti in the #2 Mygale SJ15, sitting 36 points off Piszcyk, ahead of Cameron McLoed, Jordan Sinni, and Winston Smith.

“Although we didn’t win at Morgan Park, we did improve our lead in the standings and hopefully we can further build it at The Bend,” said the front runner Piszcyk.

Cameron McLeod leading the field at Morgan Park Raceway ahead of Ryder Quinn and Valentino Astuti. Photo: MTR Images

Although it’s his home race, the #93 Mygale SJ13 ace has never raced competitively at The Bend.

“It might be home round, but I actually don’t know The Bend that well,” Piszcyk revealed. 

“We’ve only done one test day with CHE in the Formula Ford and that’s it, so it’s a pretty fresh track for me.

“It’s not going to be worry, it’s going to be pretty even across the whole field because it’s hard a track to get to test with most teams based in New South Wales and Victoria, so it’s going to be pretty fresh for the whole entire field, which should hopefully lead to some good racing.

“Everyone has as much experience as each other so hopefully it turns out to be a good weekend.”

The CHE Racing Team is headed up by another past national winner, Cameron Hill, who went on to win the 2021 Porsche Carrera Cup championship in the Pro Class.

“I was really pleased with how the boys performed at Morgan Park, Zak especially in what was a breakthrough weekend,” Hill said.

“For Zak to qualify so strongly and race as well with genuine speed was so great to see. I’m glad to see all the pieces in the puzzle are starting to fall into place for him, he’s certainly been making big gains every round.”

17 year old Queensland racer, McLeod, took out his first national victories on his home turf, with two wins giving him the weekends outright to move third on the table, 53 points in arrears of Piszcyk.

McLeod, who is also making his debut at The Bend, told AUTO ACTION in issue #1844 what it meant to win a first National series race.

“I really underestimated how good a win at national level motorsport would feel. I haven’t had that feeling before so it was just really great,” McLeod said whilst fixing an engine into his Kart.

“It gives me a lot of confidence going into the final two rounds of the season, and if I can get some consistent podiums I’ll be in with a chance of winning the title.”

Australian Formula Ford Championship standings

  1. Piszcyk        210     
  2. Astuti           174
  3. McLoed       163
  4. Sinni            153
  5. Smith           142

For more of the latest motorsport news pick up the latest issue of Auto Action.

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