Crosbie leads, Supercars icon Murphy stars in NZ FFord round one
, 2023-02-05 02:00:00,
Alex Crosbie leads the New Zealand Formula Ford championship after round one, which attracted national motorsport icon Greg Murphy.
Murphy starred in FFord in the early 1990s, won the New Zealand Grand Prix and then won the Bathurst 1000 four times in a 19-year Australian Supercars career during which he was twice championship runner-up.
In qualifying 2021-22 NZ Formula First runner-up Dylan Grant took pole for his series debut by 0.208 seconds over Blake Dowdall, with reigning champion Crosbie, Zach Blincoe and Greg Murphy also within a second of him around Hampton Downs’s international layout – being used by FFord for the first time.
Grant led away from pole in race one, while Crosbie passed Dowdall for second and Blincoe’s fourth place came under pressure from Blake Knowles on lap two. They went side-by-side into turn two on lap three, with Knowles emerging ahead and Murphy also passing Blincoe.
There was a lead change at the downhill turn eight left-hander hairpin, as Grant turned in late and Crosbie went through.
Knowles tried passing Dowdall at the end of the next lap, succeeding in doing so but providing a double slipstream for Murphy who passed Dowdall into turn one one on lap five, and briefly nosed ahead of Knowles.
Just ahead of them Grant got back past Crosbie, then the safety car was summoned as Dowdall stopped with a flat battery.
Crosbie looked to have regained the lead around the outside of turn one at the restart, but…
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