MILLVILLE, N.J. (July 30, 2023) – Callum Hedge returned to his winning ways in Formula Regional Americas Championship Powered by Honda (FR Americas) during Race 2 at New Jersey Motorsports Park (NJMP) on Sunday afternoon. The Auckland, New Zealand native climbed from fourth on the grid to take the race lead by Turn 3 and never looked back.
Notes of Interest:
- Callum Hedge earned his eighth victory in 11 FR Americas races in 2023. The New Zealander currently leads the driver’s championship point standings.
- Ryan Shehan and Cooper Becklin both returned to today’s podium. The result was Shehan’s 10th podium in 11 races, and Becklin’s ninth.
- Cooper Becklin earned his second-career pole by setting fast lap in yesterday’s race.
- This was the ninth time this season that Crosslink Kiwi Motorsport has swept the podium, and the eighth race where the finishing order has been: Hedge, Shehan, Becklin.
Cooper Becklin (No. 19 Crosslink Kiwi Motorsport Ligier JS F3) secured the pole for today’s race with the fastest lap in yesterday’s Race 1. For just the second time in his career, Becklin led the field down the starting grid with Ryan Shehan (No. 66 Crosslink Kiwi Motorsport) to his outside. When the lights went out, Shehan got a solid jump, pulling side-by-side with Becklin before taking the preferred racing line to enter Turn 1. Meanwhile, Callum Hedge (No. 17 Crosslink Kiwi Motorsport Ligier JS F3) had started the race from the fourth position, but he timed his jump perfectly to overtake both third-place starter Oliver Westling (No. 1 JENSEN Ligier JS F3), as well as Becklin.
From there, Hedge set his sights on Shehan, but Shehan was able to make the block as they entered Turn 1. Hedge knew he needed to be both quick and tricky to get around Shehan, so he began looking for unexpected places to attempt the pass. As they entered Turn 3, Hedge found just that, diving to the inside of Shehan and overtaking the top spot.
In a race that stayed green from lights to checkered, both Hedge and Shehan settled in, hitting their marks and running consistent laps. By lap five, both drivers attempted a flier to secure the pole position for the final race of the weekend—Shehan had it, but then Hedge bettered it. From there, it was back to conservation mode, ensuring that they’d have enough tire left to complete not only the current race, but another 30-minute race later in the afternoon.
Becklin had fallen as far back as fourth before they made it to Turn 1 on the first lap, but he kept his eye on Westling, waiting for the right opportunity to regain the spot. While working lap three, Westling spun in Turn 5, allowing Becklin to drive by, picking up the third position. As the clock ticked down, the gap between first-place Hedge and second-place Shehan was slowly growing, but the gap between Becklin in third and Westling in fourth was shrinking. With under three minutes left, Westling had closed in to within a second of Becklin. However, there weren’t quite enough laps to get it done, and they crossed the finish line in the same order they had spent the majority of the race.
Hedge led Shehan, followed by Becklin and Westling. Max Hewitt (No. 39 Crosslink Kiwi Motorsport Ligier JS F3) rounded out the top five.
READ MORE: Race 2 Official Results
“It’s great to get the win today,” said Hedge after climbing from the car. “We didn't quite get it done yesterday. I didn't get a good enough start, but I made sure I looked over the data last night to analyze what happened, what I did wrong, and then made sure I didn't do it again today.”
FR Americas will contest one more round this weekend with lights out for Race 3 scheduled at 2:40 p.m. ET. Fans can follow @FRAmericas on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for updates, and use the Race Monitor app for live timing and scoring.