Australian FF: McElrea Sweeps OTR Supersprint
 August 27, 2018| 
  • Feeder Series

TAILEM BEND, Australia – Sonic Motor Racing Services driver Hunter McElrea dominated both Race Two and Three on Sunday to clean sweep Round Five of the 2018 Australian Formula Ford Championship at The Bend Motorsport Park.

McElrea fell behind Spectrum driver Cody Donald off the start in Race Two, before he passed Donald back at Turn Six on the opening lap, then leading the field to the chequered flag.

Behind him, a train of seven cars swapped positions multiple times during the seven-lap encounter, with Hamish Ribarits and CHE Racing Team rookie Thomas Sargent taking the flag line astern over three seconds behind the race winner.

Ribarits was later handed a five-second penalty as a result of contact with BF Racing driver Cameron Shields earlier in the race, relegating the Sonic driver to fifth and elevating Donald to third.

Spectrum driver Liam McLellan charged from fourth to lead through Turn One as Race Three commenced, before McElrea resumed the race lead. McLellan dropped back to find himself in an intense five-car stoush for second, as Sargent emerged in second ahead of Donald. McLellan fell back to fourth as Ribarits, Nathan Herne, Zac Soutar, Lachlan Mineeff and the Fastlane Racing Stealths of Bart Horsten and Sam Dicker completed the top 10.

McElrea was particularly grateful with the handling of his Sonic Mygale to enable him to clean sweep the weekend.

“Sonic gave me a mega car all weekend which made my job easy, and I’ve had a massive amount of fun around this awesome track, and the facility is just incredible,” said McElrea.

“The first few laps in each race were tough, but I always managed to get a little break on the field and continue to build on that, for me that was the key this weekend. I knew we had amazing car speed so it was just about racing smart and making sure I could break that tow early on.”

Sargent, meanwhile, claimed his maiden national Formula Ford podium with second.

“I’m pretty ecstatic to be honest. It’s still very surreal at the moment but I’m sure it will sink in a bit later on,” said the New South Welshman at the end of Race Three. “It was a level playing field this weekend so it was great to race at the front and show how well we can go.”

After an impressive weekend in front of the Supercars crowd at the OTR Supersprint, Hunter McElrea extended his championship lead to 53 points over Sonic team-mate Hamish Ribarits.

The Australian Formula Ford Championship now heads to Phillip Island for the penultimate round of the season on September 29-30.

2018 AFFC Standings (top 10):
1. Hunter McElrea - 267pts
2. Hamish Ribarits - 214pts
3. Zac Soutar - 165pts
4. Nathan Herne - 140pts
5. Liam McLellan - 135pts
6. Angelo Mouzouris - 124pts
7. Lachlan Mineeff - 116pts
8. Bart Horsten - 111pts
9. Cameron Shields - 108pts
10. Cody Donald - 87pts

About the Australian Formula Ford Championship:
Originating in the UK in 1967, Formula Ford is an entry-level open-wheel formula, widely regarded as the first major stepping stone into car racing from karting. Held annually since 1970, the Australian Formula Ford Championship has been the category for young, aspiring racing drivers to demonstrate their ability and has been renowned for producing future champions in top-tier motor racing categories in Australia and globally.

To continue fostering young talent, the Australian Formula Ford Championship formed an alliance with Andersen Promotions, promotor of the Mazda 'Road to Indy' driver development ladder. The 2018 Australian Formula Ford Champion will earn a golden ticket to enter the annual Mazda Road to Indy Scholarship Shootout, providing the winner a US$200,000 scholarship to race in the USF2000 Series the following season and a defined pathway to the Verizon Indycar Series.

This partnership provides the groundwork to reach the Indianapolis 500, the world’s highest-attended one-day sporting event. The race was won in 2018 by Will Power - a graduate of Australian Formula Ford.

If you would like to get involved in Australian Formula Ford or need further info about our category, visit our website [] or contact our administrator at 0422 840 300.
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