And finally we’re back!! The first round of the 2018 WA F1000 season commenced on March 17th, with some familiar names, new young guns, and a few wildcards thrown in the mix.
Qualifying was always going to be interesting with high winds making it hard to tell the difference between where the tarmac started and the sand traps ended, and it was returning Australian F4 driver Aaron Love who claimed the first pole position of the season, well clear of the field by over half a second. In second place was Jordan Oon followed closely by Adam Lisle who recovered well from a spin mid-session. Henry Lake debuted in fine form taking fifth position in his first car meeting, followed by coach and GT3 driver Aidan Read who suffered engine troubles throughout the session. Mike Folwell took sixth position with a quick lap and Heinz Pfenninger qualified ninth.
Race 1 started with Jordan taking the lead from Aaron around the outside into turn 1. It was nose to tail between the two for the entire race until a gearbox malfunction gave Aaron back the lead just a lap before the safety car emerged. The positions would stay this way to the finish, with Aaron taking his maiden win in the WA F1000 series. Adam had a close battle with Aidan right up until the line, pipping him by just two tenths of a second at the flag. Henry drove solidly finishing in fifth position, three seconds clear of Mike who defended hard from Stewart Burns throughout the race. Heinz kept pace brilliantly with Mike and Stewart throughout the race finishing just two seconds behind the battle.
Race 2 started in similar fashion to race 1, with Jordan taking the lead into the first corner. It was again nose to tail between Jordan and Aaron until the last lap, where Aaron was able to re-gain the lead on the run into turn 7. Despite his defences, Jordan was able to sneak down the inside under brakes into turn 7 and hold on for the race win in a photo finish. Aidan carved through the pack once again to finish on the podium in third place and Adam came home in fourth place after a tight battle with Henry. Mike again had a close race with Stewart Burns this time just missing out and finishing seventh, again followed narrowly by Heinz.
Race 3 was another copy of 1 and 2, with Jordan taking the lead from pole position into turn 1. It was short-lived however with Aaron coming straight back at him into turn 7 on the same lap to re-gain the lead. From there he would have too much pace and win by a comfortable margin. Aidan was able to pass Jordan for second place after more gearbox issues late in the race, making it a solid improvement in position every time he hit the track. Adam and Henry again couldn’t be separated and finished within half a second of each other in a tight battle. Mike battled it out with Stewart in race 3 but unfortunately couldn’t find a way through, and was followed by Heinz in eighth place.
Huge congratulations to Aaron Love, taking his first round win in car racing, and to all others involved. It was a great race day filled with close battles and smiles all round. Race 2 is now on the 17th of June.