The 2019 Castrol Toyota Racing Series finale at Manfeild this weekend will see a thrilling showdown between Liam Lawson and Marcus Armstrong.
2017 Australian Formula 4 runner-up Lawson leads the standings by only five-points over Ferrari Academy driver Armstrong. The two New Zealanders will be eager to also take out the acclaimed New Zealand Grand Prix title too, with a 35-lap race to determine the winner.
The New Zealand Grand Prix is one of only two events granted Grand Prix status by the FIA outside of a Formula 1 event – the other being the Macau Grand Prix.
Though Lawson and Armstrong are fancied series prospects, Austrian Lucas Auer and Briton Raoul Hyman are also mathematically in contention for series honours.
Open-wheel legend Ken Smith, whose is a strong supporter of Lawson, will enter his 48th New Zealand Grand Prix at the age of 77. Smith’s form is strong heading into the final round, claiming an outright lap record aboard a Formula 5000 at Hampton Downs.
There are also three Australians to keep an eye on, Calan Williams and 2018 Formula 4 racers Jackson Walls and Thomas Smith.
Though Walls missed out on competing in the opening round by virtue of being one week too young, Walls’ ‘full attack mode’ style has shone as one of a handful of rookies competing in the elite category. Walls leads Smith in the outright standings with 98 points compared to Smith’s 86.
A handful of top ten appearances for Smith have been important as the Victorian continues to learn and improve his race craft, ahead of a potential second year in Australian Formula 4.
Williams is currently the top Australian, placing ninth outright with 152 points to his name.
Three races await the Manfeild entrants, with First Practice to take place on Friday ahead of qualifying and the first race on Saturday.