ROOKIE HOPEFUL OF SEASON UPSET WHILE BUTCHER PROVES UNBEATABLE
As NSW Formula Vee competitors prepare for the second half of the season, category newcomer and rookie Tyron Wiseman (Checkmate) is hopeful of securing a season upset against experienced racer Darren Williams (Sabre). Williams and Wiseman can be found dueling at the front whenever Formula Vee’s take to the track and Round 4 of the NSW Formula Vee Championship is set to be no different.
Wiseman, a 17-year-old Newcastle local, is new to circuit racing and has been steering the factory Checkmate under the watchful eye of experienced Formula Vee operators Paul Cochrane and Michael Kinsella after cutting his teeth in the Karting scene. Wiseman has put in some impressive drives, akin to more experienced drivers, and trails the championship leader Darren Williams by just 12 points at the halfway point of the season.
When asked if he is hopeful of a maiden season championship Wiseman is humble.
“I have joined the category to learn and running in the front pack is just a bonus. I am not expecting to win the Championship but at the same time I will give it my best shot.
“Most of all I’m thankful of the opportunity to drive a competitive car and be supported by some good people including Paul Cochrane and my parents. Formula Vee is a great category that offers close and competitive racing in an affordable way and I’ve met some great people that have taught me a lot already.”
Seasoned racer Darran Williams has enjoyed the on-track battles with Wiseman where several races have been decided by a few hundredths of a second as the Sabre and Checkmate cross the finish line two abreast.
“It’s great to see new young drivers coming into the category and doing well, it keeps us old blokes on our toes and makes for good clean racing but if Tyron wants a championship win he will have to earn it.” joked Williams.
While last year’s Champion, Craig Sparke (Jacer), remains in contention in fourth place it is Geoff Bennett (Jacer) currently running third overall that has everyone watching. Bennett has steered the #85 Green Machine consistently all season which has seen him climb the ladder to be P3 at the halfway point. After working hard to overcome mechanical challenges in Round 3, Bennett is someone to watch for the remainder of the season.
In the 1200 class Stephen Butcher (Stinger) continues his unbeaten run to dominate the grid with a healthy lead over the competition. NSW Formula Vee Clubman Greg Johnston (Elfin NG) trails Butcher by 39 points and has a 69 point lead over Michael Gale (Mako) in third. Grant Cassell (Nimbus) has made a return to the 1200 field after missing the first half of the 2023 season following major repairs resulting from an incident in the final round of 2022.
Butcher said that while he is leading the 1200 class he enjoys taking the fight to many 1600 cars while on the track.
“The car feels good and is handling well on the track allowing me to real in some of the 1600 cars and have a bit of fun with them not just through the turns but also down the straight where I can keep up if I get a good tow.”
Whatever way you look at it, Round 4 of the NSW Formula Vee Championship is set to be a cracker with the action to take place under lights in the day/night meeting at Sydney Motorsport Park on Saturday 8 July.