Luis Leeds proves his form with victory in Sydney Formula 4 opener
AGI Sport driver Luis Leeds has taken race 1 of the CAMS Payce Formula 4 Australia race weekend in Sydney, with a confident drive ahead of Lochie Hughes and teammate Antonio Astuti.
Leeds told Highway F1
“It was good, races are always best when you get the lead at the start and just keep driving away—that’s when you feel most comfortable with the car and the team. Full credit to them for giving me such a great car. So, I’ll just keep improving, keep chasing first place, and hopefully more wins come.”
Leeds topped both practice sessions and qualified in Castrol Pole Position, but was slow off the start and challenged by Lochie Hughes in a drag race along Brabham Straight, before ultimately holding the position into Turn 1.
Leeds told Highway F1 that the start “was a bit frustrating.”
I didn't get the ideal start, and Lochie did a pretty reasonable one, so I'll have a look at some data tonight and improve, and make sure it doesn't happen again
I didn't know where he was--I couldn't see him in my mirrors, so I knew he was next to me, because I saw that he got an equal jump, but it's pretty awkward when you go around turn one side-by-side not knowing where the car is. The usual racing line is to reduce the steering and go wider throughout the corner, but you've gotta give racing room to your competitors and race fair.
Behind the lead pair, the seven-car field was reduced before the race even began, with Ryan Suhle pulling into the pits and retiring after the formation lap.
After the excitement of Turn 1, all eyes turned to the battle between Jackson Walls and Tommy Smith for fourth. The pair have plenty of experience against each other, with both competing in the 2019 Castrol Toyota Racing Series, and Walls slated to join Smith in the F3 Asian Championship.
Smith made his move on lap 2, passing his rival into Turn 3, and Walls ran wide, falling back into the clutches of rookie Emerson Harvey.
The order was Leeds, Hughes, Antonio Astuti, Smith, Walls, and Harvey by lap 3 as the race settled in, and Leeds set consecutive fastest laps in the lead.
The battle for fifth became the focus of the latter stages of the race, with Walls running wide again on lap 4 but holding the position ahead of Harvey, who kept the gap within half a second and took his time exploring different lines past Walls into Turn 1. Lap 7 and 8 so the rookie draw closer and closer, but Walls closed the door each time and ultimately crossed the line in fifth.
Leeds finished wish a 3.325s lead over Hughes, with Astuti completing the podium 5.022s behind the leader.
CAMS Payce Formula 4 Australia - Race 4 @ Sydney
Lochie Hughes +3.325s
Antonio Astuti +5.022s
Tommy Smith +12.829s
Jackson Walls +18.443s
Emerson Harvey +18.915s
Ryan Suhle (DNS)