Kekai Hauanio Drives from Last to First to Win at Road America

ELKHART LAKE, Wis. (May 19, 2024) – Kekai Hauanio (No. 29 N.E.Where Transportation / New’T Racing Ligier JS F4) put on a clinic, driving from last to first to win Race 2 at Road America on Sunday morning. After suffering a broken transponder during Race 1 yesterday, Hauanio was left without an official lap time, which required him to start today’s event from the back of the grid. 

Notes of Interest: 

  • Today’s win marks the second-career victory for Kekai Hauanio, who earned his first win in the Ligier JS F4 Series just last month at NOLA Motorsports Park.
  • Christopher Parrish, one of 14 drivers to earn the Parella Motorsports Holdings (PMH) Powering Diversity Scholarship, earned his career-best finish (second). 
  • Rookie driver Jake Pollack finished a career-high third in today’s Race 2 at Road America. 
  • Three teams were represented on the podium, with Hauanio taking the win for Crosslink Kiwi Motorsport, Parrish finishing second with IGY6 Motorsports and Pollack in third with JENSEN.

After setting the fast lap in Race 1, Teddy Musella (No. 25 Scuderia Buell Ligier JS F4) led the field down the starting grid with Harbir Dass (No. 49 Berg DMG Racing Ligier JS F4) to his outside. As the lights went out, Musella immediately jumped to the front of the field, and yesterday’s runner-up finisher, Brad Majman (No. 95 Crosslink Kiwi Motorsport Ligier JS F4), ran into trouble. Dropping water on the frontstretch during the standing start, Majman’s car continued to push water, leading the Australian to be black flagged. The close racing that was noted throughout Race 1 continued on Sunday morning, with tight battles between the likes of Musella, Hauanio, Bacon Zelenka (No. 45 Crosslink Kiwi Motorsport Ligier JS F4) and Drew Szuch (No. 28 Szuch Racing Ligier JS F4). Despite rolling off last, Hauanio had climbed to fifth by the time they made it back to the start/finish line and made a pass on Szuch to claim the second position as they raced into Turn 1 working the third lap. While Hauanio, Zelenka and Szuch fought among themselves for the second position, Musella began to drive away, opening up as much as a five-second gap. 

As the race pushed toward the halfway point, Hauanio was second, but under nearly constant pressure with Zelenka right on his gearbox. The two drafted together, slowly cutting away at Musella’s lead. With just five minutes left on the clock, Haunaio and Zelenka had caught Musella. A minute later, Hauanio pulled side by side with Musella as they raced down the frontstretch and made a pass for the lead as they reached Turn 1. 

With Hauanio leading the field to the white flag, Zelenka drove to the inside of Musella in Turn 14, looking to overtake the second position. As they raced through Turn 1 on the final lap, Zelenka was on the inside of Musella when contact between the two sent Musella rolling toward the wall, with Zelenka spinning in his wake. A full-course caution ensued as the field proceeded toward the checkered flag. With Musella and Zelenka removed from contention, Christopher Parrish (No. 83 Save22 Ligier JS F4) and Jake Pollack (No. 1 JENSEN Ligier JS F4), who had quietly been engaged in their own battle throughout the race with Maite Cáceres (No. 6 Abitab / Supermatch Ligier JS F4) and Harbir Dass (No. 49 Berg DMG Racing Ligier JS F4), inherited podium positions.

     READ MORE:  Race 2 Official Results

“We had a transponder issue yesterday, so I didn’t get any laps in and had to start last today,” explained Hauanio atop the podium. “We made a good run. The car felt great—thanks to Crosslink Kiwi.”

Ligier JS F4 wraps up their weekend at Road America with Race 3 at 2:20 p.m. CT. A live feed from the Road America Jumbotron will be available at Live timing and scoring can be accessed on the Race Monitor app, and additional news and updates from the Road America SpeedTour will be posted on the series’ FacebookInstagram and Twitter.