Taking on the 3.426-mile, 20-turn Circuit of the Americas (COTA), Crosslink Kiwi Motorsport was looking forward to their home event to cap off the 2023 season. As the dominant team in the FR Americas Championship Powered by Honda, Crosslink Kiwi Motorsport added two more victories at the hands of Callum Hedge, several more podium results, and both the Team and Driver Point Championship.
“What a season, what a year,” explained Kiwi Motorsport’s Teena Larsen. “This is by far the best season that we have ever had and managed to earn all four championships, sweeping the action in not only FR Americas but also the F4 United States Championship. Performances like this are hard to match, but we will do our best to equal or better this performance in 2024.”
With qualifying setting the grid for race one, lap times from race one set the grid for race two while race two times set the grid for race three.
1 – Callum Hedge
2 – Ryan Shehan
4 – Cooper Becklin
7 – Max Hewitt
8 – Manuel Roza
9 – Jake Bonilla
11 – Kevin Janzen
Entering the first wheel-to-wheel action of the weekend with a gap of 51 points to his nearest competitor, and teammate, Callum Hedge needed to finish ahead of Ryan Shehan to claim the title. No matter where they finished on track, if the #17 of Hedge was ahead of the #66 of Shehan when the checkered flag flew, the championship would be over. Hedge not only did what he needed to do, but he scored his 12th race win of the season adding another 25 points to his championship total and confirming his dominance of the strongest season in FR Americas history. Behind him, it was Cooper Becklin who made it a Crosslink Kiwi Motorsport one-two finish as he stood on the podium in the second position as Manuel Roza put three team drivers in the top-five, crossing the stripe in fifth. Max Hewitt and Jake Bonilla were classified in the seventh and eighth positions, while Ryan Shehan earned a single point for his tenth-place result after a tough race for the hometown boy with Kevin Janzen in 11th.
With the race two grid set by lap times from race one, Hedge lined up on the inside of the front row yet again, with Becklin and Shehan behind him in third and fifth respectively. Hedge rocketed off the line to maintain the point and as the 12-lap race carried on, it was Hedge and a fellow driver who battled it out for the win. With Hedge leading when the white flag flew, a last lap, last corner pass from one of his rivals saw a drag race to the finish where he finished second, a scant .050 ahead of the race winner. Hedge led a quartet of Crosslink Kiwi Motorsport drivers in the top-five with Roza joining him on the podium in one of his best races of the season. Shehan rebounded from a disappointing result in race one to finish fourth in race two while Cooper Becklin rounded out the top-five. Hewitt was again in the top-ten finishing eighth while Janzen crossed the line tenth to earn a championship point and Bonilla was classified in the 11th position.
Earning his 13th race win in 18 tries, Hedge capped off his season on the top step of the podium, taking the race three win by nearly ten seconds. Roza completed his COTA race weekend with his second podium of the day, closing his season with his career-best race results in FR Americas while Jake Bonilla, who made his series debut this weekend, ended with a fifth-place result. Max Hewitt, Kevin Janzen, Ryan Shehan, and Cooper Becklin finished eighth through 11th respectively.
With a dominant season, Callum Hedge was named the FR Americas Powered by Honda Driver Champion while Crosslink Kiwi Motorsport was named the FR Americas Team Champion.
With the 2023 season in the books, the 2024 season is just around the corner and Crosslink Kiwi Motorsport will begin their winter test program in the coming weeks. Stay tuned for 2024 driver announcements from Crosslink Kiwi Motorsport in the very near future.
Photo Credit: Gavin Baker Photography