Chinese driver Gerrard Xie grabbed his first-ever victory in Formula Regional Oceania on Sunday with a brilliant late pass on New Zealand driver Alex Crosbie.

Xie’s victory came in the second of three races held this weekend at Taupo Motorsport Park, which forms the first round of the five-round Castrol Toyota Formula Regional Oceania (CTFROC) championship.

The starting order for the second race was set by reversing the top eight finishers from the first race, which was held on Saturday. 

Xie, the 2022 Chinese F4 Champion, started the race from third, behind Australia’s Tommy Smith and New Zealand’s Alex Crosbie.

Xie held his position in the opening laps of the race before a safety car on lap three. 

Eight laps into the race, Xie passed New Zealand driver Liam Sceats to grab 2nd, just before another safety car was deployed.

When the race resumed again with seven laps to go, Xie immediately began applying pressure on race leader Alex Crosbie.

With three laps to go, Xie got a great run on the back straight and made a confident move to cleanly pass Crosbie through the chicane at the end of the lap.

Crosbie was also overtaken by Polish driver Roman Bilinski, who finished second behind Xie. Crosbie finished third.

Xie’s good form didn’t continue in the third race held later on Sunday, where he started 6th but finished 11th.

Meanwhile, South Korean driver Michael Shin, who scored a podium in the first race on Saturday, finished eighth in the second race and fifth in the third race.

With the first round now complete, Shin sits 4th in the standings with 58 points. Xie sits 6th with 50 points. 

Poland’s Roman Bilinski, who won the first and third races, leads the championship with 88 points.

The second round of the championship will be held next weekend at Circuit Chris Amon in Manfield.

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