Conroy heads to Manfeild with 60-point lead

Championship leader Jamie Conroy heads to Manfeild Park in Feilding this weekend to contest the penultimate round of the New Zealand Formula Ford Championship, part of the programme at the New Zealand Grand Prix meeting at the circuit.

The Invercargill driver made an outstanding start to the championship to be unbeaten in the first nine races but at Hampton Downs last weekend an engine problem slowed him and brought the sequence to an end.

However, in the one race when his Mygale was running cleanly, Conroy took another victory and retains a 60-point lead in the championship over rival Michael Collins, of Christchurch.

The team is hoping they have put the problems behind them this weekend as Conroy tackles another circuit on the championship trail that is completely new to him.

His first look at the 3.3km Manfeild track came on Thursday as he watched the Toyota Racing Series drivers during their first test sessions. "It is fast and flowing," he said, adding that he felt it should suit him.

"The more laps we can pick up around here the better!"

However, again Conroy is aware it will be far from easy this weekend. "This is Aaron Marr's home track and Kenny Smith will be in the field again."

Both Marr and Smith took wins last weekend.

After qualifying on Saturday morning, the Formula Ford competitors will fight out their first race on Saturday afternoon. On Sunday there are two more races, with the final race for the Maurie Smith Memorial Trophy, named in memory of Ken Smith's father.

The Southland Times