Formula Ford title race wide open ahead of Winton

The Australian Formula Ford Series will join the Shannons SpeedSeries for the first time in 2023 next month as it forms part of a jam-packed Hi-Tec Oils Race Winton.

The series is coming off the back of its third round of the season at Symmons Plains Raceway with a thrilling weekend of racing, seeing the lead change hands.

Thanks to three podium finishes in Tasmania, Zak Lobko is now the series leader after replacing Matt Hillyer, while race wins for both Xavier Kokai and Jake Santalucia saw the duo climb up the standings and into third and fourth respectively.

With just three points the difference between the top two heading into the fourth round, and Kokai and Santalucia putting themselves into the fold, the 2023 title race is wide open.

While it was an honour for Lobko to walk away from Tasmania as the series’ leader, he knew the series was poised for a competitive rest of the year.

“The first two rounds were closely contested between Matt (Hillyer) and I, but now Xavier Kokai has caught up a lot and Jake Santalucia also had a really good round,” Lobko said.

“It’s great to have a nice consistent weekend in Tasmania and to grab the series lead off Matt, so now I’m looking forward to Winton as it’s a track we are usually quite strong at and hopefully we can build the lead at the front.”

With many drivers already familiar with Winton, Lobko expected the race to be equally competitive but was confident he could finish well.

“Winton is a track where everyone does their first drive in a race car, meaning everybody is familiar with the circuit,” Lobko explained.

“It was also very close racing last time we were there, so I expect it to be quite similar to Tasmania.

“I have had three races in Winton in my two-year career, it’s one of the tracks I’ve raced on the most – whether it’s testing or racing cause it’s a very accessible track.

“I’m quite confident as every time we have been there, we have had quite a lot of pace, so I’m looking forward to getting out there on Friday to see where I sit compared to everyone else.

“I’ve watched all the SpeedSeries rounds so far, it’s been very close racing across all the big categories and it’s been very cool to watch, so to be able to race alongside them will be awesome.”

The series is one of seven categories in action at the Hi-Tec Oils Race Winton, which Saturday and Sunday’s action to be broadcast via StanSport.

Tickets to the event can be purchased via motorsporttickets.com.au

The Australian Formula Ford Series will take the track at Winton Raceway as part of the Shannons SpeedSeries’ Hi-Tec Oils Race Winton on 9-11 June.