Luis Leeds takes second Phillip Island round victory to cap his decisive Formula 4 weekend
Luis Leeds has taken both round victories in the first double-header of the 2019 CAMS PAYCE Australian Formula 4 Championship, extending his championship lead with a win in the final race of the weekend at Phillip Island.
Leeds said “the team have done an incredible job, I’ve been working my butt off since Sydney,”
“I want to prove that I’m one of the best drivers here in Australia and I’m worthy of going back overseas. I really hope not only Supercar teams but TCR teams, GT teams, F1 teams… I want them to know that.”
AGI Sport’s Luis Leeds led confidently off the start as the field squabbled for position behind him.
Lochie Hughes looked capable of challenging Leeds’ dominance, taking an aggressive line through Turn 1 and battling Leeds through the first lap, but Leeds held steady and drove off into the sunset.
Ryan Suhle was third after the start, but Antonio Astuti had other plans, battling throughout the first lap, finally winning the position into Siberia. Astuti, now free of Suhle, was unrelenting, catching Lochie Hughes and staking his claim for second.
Behind them, Jackson Walls battled Ryan Suhle for fourth, with the pair going side-by-side into Turn 1 to start Lap 5. Walls went around the outside into Turn 4, and made the pass stick on his experienced rival.
Leeds was more than 3 seconds clear of the field by half-distance on Lap 6, while the remaining seven drivers were separated by only 3 seconds, thanks to an extremely tight four-way battle for P5.
Asttuti made his move on Hughes into Lap 7, as the pair went side-by-side in the familiar maneuver through Turn 1.
Behind them, Harry Hayek stole fourth from Jackson Walls, with the pair squabbling over the position throughout Lap 10.
Ultimately, Luis Leeds won the lights-to-flag victory with a 7.428 second lead, ahead of Antonio Astuti and Lochie Hughes. Leeds’ race win cemented his Round 4 victory, his second of the weekend.
Antonio Astuti claimed second for the round, saying, “unfortunately we didn’t quite get the race win but it was good to come back and get second overall for the round,”
“It was a very challenging weekend but we pushed through the speed we had to recover and get some crucial points for the year.”
Leeds now tops the championship on 239 points, ahead of Ryan Suhle and Antonio Astuti, both on 158 points. Lochie Hughes is fourth on 153 points, with championship position all-the-more important this year as the top three drivers plus one wildcard will compete in the Formula 4 Asia Pacific Cup in September.
The 2019 CAMS PAYCE Australian Formula 4 Championship will conclude at South Australia’s The Bend Motorsport Park in July.