Traveling clear across the country to the most eastern race in 2023, Crosslink Kiwi Motorsport was once again victorious in the FR Americas Powered by Honda program. Dominating the event weekend, Callum Hedge added to his championship point lead while Crosslink Kiwi Motorsport picked up two race wins and seven podium results with six more wheel-to-wheel races remaining.
“It was another dominating Crosslink Kiwi Motorsport performance in New Jersey,” explained Teena Larsen. “Our team, crew, and drivers are firing on all cylinders and that is being proven on both the result sheets and in the championship point standings. It has been a great year, but the goal is to continue our winning ways.”
1st – Callum Hedge
2nd – Ryan Shehan
4th – Cooper Becklin
6th – Nicole Havrda
7th – Max Hewitt
After putting a pair of drivers on the front row for the first FR Americas race of the weekend, Callum Hedge lined up inside Ryan Shehan as the lights went out. With the duo claiming six first-place results and six second-place finishes in the last six races, Crosslink Kiwi Motorsport was hoping for much of the same in the first wheel-to-wheel action at NJMP. As the 22-lap race wore on, it was an intense battle up front with the Texas-based program crossing the line second and third, the first race in ten this season that did not end in victory. Hedge crossed the line second ahead of Shehan to extend his point lead while Cooper Becklin, who was the fastest driver in practice, finished fourth. Crosslink Kiwi Motorsport newcomer and current Formula Pro USA Western Championship point lead Nicole Havrda made her series debut with a fifth-place result competing at the tricky New Jersey Motorsports Park facility for the very first time. Progressing through the practice sessions and her first FR Americas qualifying, Nicole exceeded the team’s expectations right out of the gate. Max Hewitt completed nine of the 22 laps to be classified in the seventh position. Following race one, Shehan was given a penalty that dropped him to fourth on the results sheet, his first non-podium result of the season as Becklin was elevated to third and joined Hedge on the podium.
Race two saw Crosslink Kiwi Motorsport return to form scoring another triple podium and put four drivers in the top-five. Callum Hedge scored the race win and continued to race his way toward the FR Americas championship while Ryan Shehan rebounded from his penalty yesterday that knocked him from the podium to return to the second step today. Cooper Becklin joined Hedge and Shehan on the podium after the 23-lap race while Max Hewitt rounded out the top-five in fifth. After a great start, Havrda was a little unlucky as her fire extinguisher bottle went off and for safety reasons, the team decided it was best to pull her in and retire the car.
It was the Callum Hedge show once again in race three as he returned to the podium for the third time on the weekend and the 12th time in the last 12 races to earn another dominant victory and add 25 more points to his championship total. Shehan, who was under heavy attack from a competitor behind him, managed to hold that driver at bay until two minutes to go when he and that driver made contact bringing out a full course caution. As Shehan plummeted down the running order, Crosslink Kiwi Motorsport teammates Cooper Becklin, Max Hewitt, and Nicole Havrda all benefited moving to third, fourth, and fifth respectively. Both Hewitt and Havrda had their strongest runs of the weekend and decreased the gap to the leader, as they finished with their best results of the weekend.
It’s now a nine-week break for the FR program as the next event will not take place until the weekend of October 5-8 at the ultra-fast Virginia International Raceway.
Photos: Gavin Baker Photography