Jonny Reid victorious in Japanese Formula 3 Young Kiwi also stars in A1 Team New Zealand test in France New Zealand racing ace Jonny Reid has broken through for his first victory in the Japanese Formula 3 Championship in his final appearance...
Jonny Reid victorious in Japanese Formula 3
Young Kiwi also stars in A1 Team New Zealand test in France
New Zealand racing ace Jonny Reid has broken through for his first victory in the Japanese Formula 3 Championship in his final appearance in the category.
Driving at the Mine circuit, Reid won the first race on the weekend from fourth on the grid and started from pole position for the second. However, he was adjudged to have jumped the start and was given a drive-through penalty that dropped him out of the lead.
"The weekend was a great way to finish my year in Japanese Formula 3," said the 22-year-old Aucklander.
"Even though there are two rounds left at Motegi in October, there's a clash with the Portugal A1 Grand Prix event and that's where my focus is for the rest of 2005.
"But the weekend was great. We had changed out front suspension setup on our Dome chassis to something similar to the Dallara and it changed the car radically to make it competitive.
"The first qualifying was damp and we were fourth quickest but the next one was dry and I poled it by 0.15s.
"Race one we managed to work our way through to win but on the grid for the second I had too much heat in the clutch, which forced me to creep and I copped a drive-through penalty while leading.
"We had clear pace over the field and had the lead by 40 or 50 metres. But it was a good way to end my year with the INGING team. As much as I'd love to do the Motegi round, A1 is where I want to be and that's where the opportunities to further my career are."
His Japanese success came hot on the heels of a brilliant three days of testing with A1 Team New Zealand at the official A1 Grand Prix test at Paul Ricard in France.
Despite having to head back to Japan after just one a half days of the test, Reid set the fifth fastest time overall, out-pacing established stars including former Formula 1 racer Jos Verstappen, British Formula 3 Champion Alvaro Parente and Aussie Will Power.
"The A1 car is really good. It's an awesome championship. The testing has now been done, so I'm waiting by to see whether Matt (Halliday, fellow A1 Team NZL driver) or I race the car at the opening event in England.
"It's up to the engineers and management as to who they want to put in the car. There's nothing more I can do at this stage but sit and wait!
"Either way, I want to keep performing well and the opportunities will open up for me. Everyone at A1 Team New Zealand was pleased with the testing and how it went."
After flying around the globe of late, Reid has settled back into England for the next six weeks before he heads to New Zealand on his way to the Australian A1 round at Eastern Creek in Sydney.
A1 Team New Zealand is being run by noted race preparation company West Surrey Racing, which is run by expatriate Kiwi Dick Bennetts from its English base.
The new open-wheeler category has proven to be a success, with all drivers using Lola chassis powered by Zytek V8 engines and running on Cooper tyres, creating the emphasis of the category being on driver talent rather than technological advances.
The first A1 Grand Prix of Nations event will be held at Brands Hatch in England on September 25.