Wins send Kahia to top of ta­ble.

South Waikato News - - Motoring - ROBERT STEVEN

Faine Kahia has shot to the top of the points ta­ble fol­low­ing his win at the Clark In­ter­na­tional Speed­way the week­end be­fore last.

Rep­re­sent­ing New Zealand, the Taupo-raised driver is rac­ing in the FIA For­mula 4 South East Asia cham­pi­onship.

The cham­pi­onship con­tains six rounds that run from Au­gust to Jan­uary and each round has six races.

Kahia placed sec­ond, fifth, DNF, third and first in the week­end’s races, with the sixth race post­poned.

Kahia was also pre­sented with a Star Driver Award for plac­ing sec­ond over­all in Round 2.

So far in the cham­pi­onship’s eleven races, Kahia has had eight podi­ums. This per­for­mance pushes him to the top of the cham­pi­onship leader­board.

The week­end’s sixth and fi­nal race was post­poned to Round 3, which runs from Novem­ber 11-13 in In­done­sia, be­cause of wors­en­ing typhoon rain on Sun­day.

One of Kahia’s long­time sup­port­ers, Ken Bleak­ley, said he wasn’t sur­prised Kahia gained two podium fin­ishes in the wet weather on Sun­day.

‘‘It rained in the last two races and he just blitzed the place. But that’s his race-craft,’’ Bleak­ley said.

‘‘His car con­trol is ab­so­lutely bril­liant, wet or fine.

‘‘I know he looped it in the sec­ond race in the Philip­pines, but when you haven’t driven the cir­cuit, even the best can do it – just look at For­mula 1.’’

Bleak­ley said he recog­nised Kahia’s driv­ing tal­ent when he saw him rac­ing Go Karts many years ago.

‘‘So I or­gan­ised him into getting his li­cense and in the Win­ter Se­ries I let him race my old Honda.’’

The 1989 Honda In­te­gra was an ex-rally car and had had a life from hell, but Kahia de­liv­ered, the Taupo resident said.

‘‘He’d never driven a man­ual car be­fore, but he put that Honda into com­pe­ti­tion plac­ings.

‘‘From there, the car club recog­nised his driv­ing skills and they put him into the NZ motorsport academy, which he did ex­tremely well in.’’

Bleak­ley said he en­cour­ages peo­ple who are pas­sion­ate about New Zealan­ders suc­ceed­ing in motorsport to get in con­tact with Faine and the Kahia fam­ily.

‘‘We re­ally need do­na­tions and we re­ally need peo­ple to put their hand in their pocket and give him a hand to get where he’s go­ing.’’

Faine Kahia raced at the Philip­pine’s Clark race­way over the week­end.

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