Wurz fights back with feature race pole position

Wurz Sunday Manfeild pole (940 x 450)

Charlie Wurz fought back from a challenging Saturday with a brilliant pole position for the feature race in Sunday morning qualifying at the third round of the Castrol Toyota Formula Regional Oceania Championship at Manfeild – Circuit Chris Amon.

In his best qualifying session to date, Wurz took control in the second half of the session as the times dropped.

He put in his best lap well before the end of the session when track conditions were still improving. It was the only sub 1 minute 4 second lap in the 15 minute period and was simply too fast for the rest, even as the track was at its best at the end of the session. Despite that only a few tenths covered the top ten qualifiers yet again.

It all pointed to a very strong M2 Competition car for the championship leader and he confirmed that after the session, commenting: “In the dry the car was really strong as it was on Thursday and Friday so we knew we had the pace.

“I messed up my last two laps but even with that we managed to hang on to pole position with our earlier lap. The second race is going to be tough from eighth but we’ll do our best and it’s great to have pole position for the feature.”

Foster was happy with second, confident there was much more to come with further dry running in his Giles Motorsport entry. He ended his first dry qualifying session in the championship just seven one hundredths behind Wurz with a great chance of repeating his Saturday success in the feature race.

A very happy and relieved David Morales bounced back with a great lap late on that catapulted him to third overall late on while James Penrose was top Kiwi in qualifying, hustling his Castrol car around to fourth on the grid.

Wurz’s main championship challenger Callum Hedge was a fraction behind in fifth. He was quick early on but couldn’t shave the extra couple of tenths off the lap time required to match the absolute pace of the top two. Alongside him on the third row will be Josh Mason who was another to come on strong late in in qualifying.

Liam Sceats and Jacob Abel were consistent runners and line up seventh and eighth with Ryder Quinn and an improved Billy Frazer in ninth and tenth. Frazer, like Hedge, featured strongly in the session until late on when the really fast times were recorded.

The session however, belonged to Wurz, who confirmed he’s not going to be a pushover for Foster for race wins in the second half of the championship.

It hadn’t been an easy Saturday for the Austrian. Beaten by Foster in Saturdays wet race, an appeal against his 10 second penalty for a Safety Car infringement in Saturday’s first race resulted in the penalty being reduced to five seconds.

It pushed him down to fifth in the results which in theory would have helped with the reverse grid format. Rules don’t permit an advantage from a penalty, however, and he would start the reverse grid race from eighth place.  

His response to it all in qualifying at least, was emphatic.


2023 Castrol Toyota Formula Regional Oceania Championship – R3 – Manfeild

Dan Higgins Trophy -  Qualifying

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