A race win and a trio of podiums sees Liam Lawson lead the Castrol Toyota Racing Series heading into this weekend’s final round.
The fourth round of the series visited the Taupo circuit, with a pole position assisting 2017 Australian Formula 4 graduate Lawson to victory in the weekend’s opening race. The Pukekohe teenager lead the race from lights-to-flag.
Lawson’s biggest challenge came from his nearest rival in the standings, Marcus Armstrong.
“I knew the start was going to be difficult,” Lawson said.
“We both hit it on the start and both got wheel spin and it was pretty even into turn one.
“During the race there was hardly any grip and for the first couple of laps I kept locking wheels and had to keep shifting the brake bias back to help it stop. They were pressuring me at the start and once I sorted the braking, the car was really good.
“The safety car at the end made it interesting. The team told me over the radio a car had stopped out there, and I was hoping there wasn’t going to be one and was hoping the race would stay green.”
Across four races, Lawson turned what was a 30-point deficit into a five-point lead over Armstrong heading into this weekend’s New Zealand Grand Prix at Manfeild.
It was a difficult showing for Armstrong, though the Ferrari Academy driver recovered to claim the coveted Denny Hulme Trophy Race in the fourth and final race of the weekend.
Jackson Walls is the other Australian Formula 4 racer competing in the series, and he leads fellow TRS rookie Thomas Smith to be 13th in the outright standings with 98 points.
Walls’ best result was 7th in the opening 20 lap race, with Smith’s best being a 12th in the same race.
The final round of the Castrol Toyota Racing Series commences on Saturday 9 February, with 35 laps of the New Zealand Grand Prix to take place on Sunday 10 February at Manfeild.