Race Report
2018 Castrol Toyota Racing Series
Monday
05
February 2018

Marcus on top heading into TRS Finale

Taking to the track in Taupo, Marcus Armstrong earned another clean and consistent podium scoring weekend in Toyota Racing Series. Extending his championship lead and keeping his rivals on their toes as the series reaches it’s climax next weekend.

A circuit commonly compared to those in Europe, Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park set the scene for the penultimate weekend on the calendar. Boasting a high-speed 830m downhill straight, that heads into a tight and twisty sequence of corners, the 3.5km long track configuration provided a tough challenge for the dynamic young racers of Toyota Racing Series.

Storm clouds rolled in overhead causing practice sessions to be cut short on Friday, as the track was infiltrated by the edge of a tropical cyclone. With a tricky first qualifying tainted by rain, Marcus launched his attack for pole in the second session, but despite his domination he was forced to settle for second, following a final lap from Shwartzman in the dying moments. 

Starting from 5th for Race 1, Marcus looked to make up ground as he launched off the line, but found himself soon hindered by a slow starting Shwartzman in the grid slot ahead of him. Holding his position, he kept tight on the tail of his rivals as they headed into the first corner. On scrubbed tyres and knowing the importance of points in his title campaign, the Kiwi couldn’t mount an attack. Taking the flag with 5th place, Marcus added a healthy crop of points to his tally and turned attention to the remaining races. 

With the reverse grid set, Marcus lined up in 4th in Race 2. Sprinting off the line, the young driver dove tightly into the inside hoping to make up ground, nailing the apex as the pack stormed into the first corner. But with Verschoor alongside him the pair went wheel-to-wheel through the twisty first complex, relenting to the Dutchman, the Kiwi settled into 4th on the road. Tuning his focus to hold off the challenge from Shwartzman, he defended hard with some superb lines on the opening laps. The challenge didn’t faze the championship leader as he led a clean masterclass in defending to finish in 4th. 

Hungry for victory, the 17-year-old from Christchurch pulled up on the front row for the Denny Hulme Memorial Trophy race. With a real opportunity to take the lead, the two M2 competition teammates powered side-by-side trying to get a nose ahead. Just as Marcus looked to have the edge, Shwartzman narrowly managed to hold the lead, Marcus rapidly turned his attention to holding Verschoor behind. The three championship contenders going nose-to-tail in a tantalising combat under the New Zealand sun. After a red flag was called to rescue a heavily damaged car out on the infield, Marcus relished the opportunity to challenge at the restart, running inches from the tail of his rival, but the pounce was not to be as the leader launched into the final corner. Struggling with pace, Marcus sealed a tricky weekend adding another podium to his tally. 

“It wasn’t my best weekend, for some reason our performance wasn’t to the level it has been. Rain meant we couldn’t really maximise potential in qualifying, then as the weekend went on I struggled with tyres and just couldn’t challenge as I needed to just bag the points. I still managed to get a podium, so it wasn’t a disaster and we’re going into the last round with a decent points lead”

Marcus now leads the title race by 33 points as the championship heads to the finale in just 5 days time, where the Kiwi is hoping to continue his momentum at the Manfeild track.

Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park
1/2/2018
 — 
4/2/2018
Timezone   
NZDT (UTC+13)
Length   
2.17 mi
Turns   
14
First Race  
2007
Lap Record  
01:23.357
2018 Castrol Toyota Racing Series
 STANDINGS
Updated 
19/1/2021

3

rd
Races   
15
Laps   
364
mi.   
671.47
Points   
901
Podiums   
10
Wins   
2
RACE 1
Saturday
 
3:56 am

1

2

3

4

5

Juan Manuel CORREA 

James PULL

Richard VERSCHOOR

Robert SHWARTZMAN

Marcus ARMSTRONG

M2 Competition

M2 Competition

M2 Competition

M2 Competition

M2 Competition

00:04.111

00:04.609

00:04.900

00:06.571

21:18.640

21:22.751

21:23.249

21:23.540

21:25.211

RACE 2
Sunday
 
12:00 am

1

2

3

4

5

Brendon LEITCH 

Ryan YARDLEY

Richard VERSCHOOR

Marcus ARMSTRONG

Taylor COCKERTON

Victory Motor Racing

MTEC Motorsport

M2 Competition

M2 Competition

MTEC Motorsport

+15.182

+15.458

+17.027

+17.292

21:21.244 

21:36.426 

21:36.702 

21:38.271

21:38.536 

RACE 3
Sunday
 
3:55 am

1

2

3

4

5

Robert SHWARTZMAN

Marcus ARMSTRONG

Richard VERSCHOOR

Juan Manuel CORREA 

Brendon LEITCH 

M2 Competition

M2 Competition

M2 Competition

M2 Competition

Victory Motor Racing

+5.523 

+12.752 

+13.604 

+21.211

29:45.193

29:50.716

29:57.945

29:58.797

30:06.404

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