Santalucia charges to first Formula Ford wins of 2023
Tuesday 23 May, 2023
Jake Santalucia won two of three races during the third round of the Australian Formula Ford Series.
Jake Santalucia has claimed his first Australian Formula Ford Series round win for 2023 after picking up two race wins from three in Tasmania over the weekend.
Entering the third round of the season in 10th place and 82 points off leader Matthew Hillier, Santalucia needed a strong start to the weekend – a P4 in qualifying helping his cause.
Santalucia’s weekend got even better on Saturday morning after he claimed a thrilling opening race in challenging conditions, taking advantage of rival mistakes in the opening laps.
Getting a jump on Kobi Williams on the opening lap, Santalucia was gifted another place when pole-sitter Xavier Kokai spun on the second lap of the race and dropped to the back of the field, allowing for both Santalucia and Eddie Beswick to fight for the lead.
With Hillyer also in contention, Santalucia received more fortune when the championship leader and Beswick made contact with Hillyer, which resulted in both going off track and dropping down to finish eighth and 10th respectively.
Obtaining the lead with four laps to go, Santalucia never looked back as he crossed the finish line for his first win of the year.
After starting from sixth place, Cody Maynes-Rutty swiftly moved his way through the order to steal second place on the final lap from Zak Lobko, who also worked hard after starting in 12th.
The second race of the weekend would see an identical top three after a one-lap sprint to the line after a safety car intervention.
Santalucia finished just two-tenths ahead of Maynes-Rutty, while Hillyer’s troubles continued after being penalised five seconds for an incident with Williams.
The third and final race of the weekend was won by Kokai, who fought with the leading pack throughout before making a move for the lead on Santalucia with just dix laps to go.
The two leaders were able to pull away due to the intense battles that were happening for the final spot on the podium, with Lobko securing the position ahead of Maynes-Rutty and Beswick.
Lobko now leads the series by three points ahead of Hillyer, while Kokai and Santalucia move to third and fourth respectively.
The next round of the Australian Formula Ford Series will take place as part of the Shannons SpeedSeries’ Hi-Tec Oils Race Winton at Winton Motor Raceway on 9-11 June.