Mason holds on for first New Zealand win

Joshn wins (940 x 450)

Britain Josh Mason managed to hold off countryman Louis Foster to win his first race of the 2023 Castrol Toyota Formula Regional Oceania Championship today at Manfeild – Circuit Chris Amon – but only just.

Mason led from the word go after out-dragging pole position holder Ryan Shehan in the reverse grid format second race and quickly built an unassailable lead, which was even too much for man of the moment Louis Foster who scorched through the field from seventh on the grid to second at the flag.

The Kiwi Motorsport driver – the sixth different winner in the 2023 championship so far - was delighted with the result, commenting: “I’m really pleased to win that one. The car was good but I think like the others we struggled a bit with tyre management at the end. I feel like that win has been coming though, so we can now build on the momentum and move on from here.”

Foster – running new tyres on the left hand side of his car - was sublime as he worked his way through the field, passing the likes of Callum Hedge and David Morales with ease using parts of the frack not normally considered ideal for passing.

His only real obstacle was American Jacob Abel, who repassed him after Foster got by in a move around the final corner and halted his progress for several laps before the Brit finally got by on lap eight.

It was probably that delay which made the difference between second place and a second win of the weekend for Foster. For followers of United States motorsport, it also gave an excellent preview of battles to come between the two in Indy NXT and beyond.

Ryan Shehan drove what was his best race of the championship despite Mason beating him away from the start. He tracked the leader a few car lengths behind for the majority of the race but like the rest behind him, fell victim to Foster’s charge. Nonetheless, third place in the race was well deserved.

Abel’s reward for his stout defence against Foster was a solid fourth place but he wasn’t able to make any impression on Shehan ahead. His consistency moved him to just 17 points behind Hedge in the championship table. James Penrose was fifth, holding off a much quicker Charlie Wurz in the final stages of the race, though Wurz was almost certainly focussing on maintaining a lead over Callum Hedge behind him, whom he passed on lap 12 after being behind in the early stages.

From a championship point of view Wurz would be happy with his sixth place finish, one ahead of Hedge and enough to extend his series lead over the Kiwi to 17 points. Hedge finished a subdued seventh, one ahead of fellow New Zealander Liam Sceats, who drove a blinder to move up from last on the grid to eighth.

David Morales was a feature in the leading group early on but dropped back behind after an error and ended the race in ninth place, a couple of seconds ahead of Tom McLennan who held off Billy Frazer for the final place in the top ten.

Heading into Sunday’s final race – the feature Dan Higgins Trophy event – it’s advantage Foster for the weekend. With a front row start alongside pole position holder Wurz, it’s all set for a great finale to the Manfeild weekend.


2023 Castrol Toyota Formula Regional Oceania Championship – R3 – Manfeild

Race 2 - Result

  1. Josh Mason (UK)
  2. Louis Foster (UK)
  3. Ryan Shehan (USA)
  4. Jacob Abel (USA)
  5. James Penrose (NZ)
  6. Charlie Wurz (Austria)
  7. Callum Hedge (NZ)
  8. Liam Sceats (NZ)
  9. David Morales (USA)
  10. Tom McLennan (Aus)
  11. Billy Frazer (NZ)
  12. Adam Fitzgerald (Ire)
  13. Ryder Quinn (Aus)
  14. Chloe Chambers (USA)
  15. Lucas Fecury (Bra)
  16. Bree Morris (NZ)