Angelo Mouzouris takes first Australian Formula Ford race win at wet Winton
17-year old Angelo Mouzouris has taken his maiden victory in the Australian Formula Ford Championship as the series supports the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship at a soggy Winton. Mouzouris said “I’m really ecstatic to get my first national win in front of the Supercars crowd here at Winton.”
“Sonic Motor Racing Services did a great job to change over to the wet setup on the dummy grid, and using our experience from the wet practice sessions yesterday we were able to perform strongly when the conditions really took a turn for the worst when our race started.
“We were able to pull away by a fair bit early in the race, we built a good buffer before the safety car came out and we were able to keep it together and bring home the win.
“We’re showing off our new colours this weekend for Pitbox, it’s great to bring home a win for them and hopefully we can continue that for Races 2 and 3 tomorrow.”
Confusion was the name of the game as the race begun, with a driver out of position at the rear of the field, and Callum Hedge slipping forward in his grid spot right as the race began. Mouzouris got the jump off Hedge, who could not recover after slipping forward and fell back through the pack. Tied for second in the championship, the New Zealander’s start went from bad to worse as he was awarded a 5 second penalty for what was judged to be a false start.
Series leader Tom Sargent was on a charge, starting in 11th but was up to sixth by lap three. Sargent finished the lap with an overtake on Jake Donaldson to claim P5.
Hank Perkins showed off his car control skills as he pirouetted around on the wet track, but it was Zac Soutar and Jake Donaldson who ultimately came together, with the race suspended behind the safety car as the two cars were untangled.
Mouzouris led the field home for a final lap after the restart, while Sargent finished second in an awesome recovery drive.
“We struggled with setup on Friday, so to come back stronger in the wet and make up a few spots today was great,”
“These Formula Fords are so tough to drive in the wet, so it was just about keeping the car as straight as I could and we’re happy to bring home a great result for the team when it counts.”
Rookie Jay Hanson was third, and a post-race stewards hearing saw Zac Soutar penalised five championship points.
Hanson celebrated his first podium result:
“It’s awesome to get my first top three race result here at the Supercar round up against this field with so many tough competitors,"
“I got a good start and moved to second off the line. As the race progressed I was in third and then the safety car came out. Tom Sargent got the jump on me on the restart and I hung on to finish in the top three.”
The Australian Formula Ford Championship returns tomorrow for races 2 and 3.
Australian Formula Ford - Race 1 @ Winton
Callum Hedge (NZ)
Zac Soutar +1 lap
Jake Donaldson +2 laps