Callum Hedge extended his win streak to five races with a victory in race one of Formula Regional Americas Championship Powered by Honda (FR Americas) competition at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on Saturday morning. Driving the No. 17 Crosslink Kiwi Motorsport Ligier JS F3, Hedge led the field from flag-to-flag.
The day started off differently than usual, with Race Director Scott Goodyear calling for a rolling start in the morning’s event. Hedge brought the field to the start zone, getting a great jump immediately as the flag waved. Ryan Shehan (No. 66 Crosslink Kiwi Motorsport Ligier JS F3) settled into second as they raced through Turn 1, as Cooper Becklin (No. 19 Crosslink Kiwi Motorsport Ligier JS F3) was challenged by Oliver Westling (No. 1 JENSEN Ligier JS F3), racing side by side into the Keyhole. As they exited the corner, Becklin pulled ahead, while a battle for fifth broke out behind him with Manuel Roza (No. 12 Crosslink Kiwi Motorsport Ligier JS F3), Max Hewitt (No. 39 Crosslink Kiwi Motorsport Ligier JS F3) and Hayden Bowlsbey (No. 22 Save22 Ligier JS F3) jockeying for the position.
The very next lap, Westling had a major lockup as he entered Turn 4, bouncing through the gravel before rejoining the event at the back of the field. Meanwhile, Bowlsbey, Austin Hill (No. 8 SoOhio Equip / Alum Trailers / Ferris Mowers / Big Tex Trailers / PJ Trailers / CM Truck Ligier JS F3) and Cole Kleck (No. 11 Velocity Racing Development Ligier JS F3) were on the move, each picking up three positions from their starting spot by the time the field completed lap two.
From there, things quieted down. Becklin continued to apply the pressure to Shehan, racing within just 0.3s as the race marched toward the halfway point. Realizing that completing the pass on Shehan would be a tough hill to climb, Becklin opted to back off a bit to conserve his Hankook tires for races two and three Sunday. Meanwhile, Westling continued a steady climb back from his lap two misfortune, picking off his competitors one by one to move back up to the sixth position before the checkered flag waved.
Meanwhile, there was one last burst of excitement as a trio of deer ran across the race track while the field worked the final lap of the race. With everyone escaping harm’s way, Hedge led the field to the checkered flag with Shehan following in second and Becklin in third.
“It definitely wasn’t easy,” said Hedge from the podium. “It actually got quite warm out there today. I got a little bit of a sweat, and had to stick my hand in the visor to wipe a couple beads away. Very good race. Good start. Big thanks to the team for making the car so good; hopefully we can go again tomorrow.”
Today’s victory marked Callum Hedge’s fifth-consecutive win in FR Americas competition. Crosslink Kiwi Motorsport earned their fifth podium sweep of 2023.
Ryan Shehan recorded the fastest lap of the race today to secure the pole for Sunday’s race two.
FR Americas returns to the track Sunday for race two at 10:10 a.m. ET, followed by race three at 3:05 p.m. ET. Follow the championship on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, or watch Race Monitor for live timing and scoring. This weekend’s races are streaming free at YouTube.com/SpeedTourTV.