It’s been another exciting weekend for the Toyota Racing Series as they reached Taupo for the third round. Qualifying was a hectic affair, and it was incredibly close between the top three for race one. Jordan King took pole by 0.026s from Lucas Auer, and the Austrian was only 0.029s ahead of Josh Hill. Hannes van Asseldonk and Raffaele Marciello were not far behind the top three, with van Asseldonk fastest by three thousandths of a second! For race three, the starting positions were determined by the average of the two best lap times, and here Josh Hill won out. It was, however, close. Van Asseldonk was 0.007s slower than Hill, and King was 0.007s slower than the Dutch driver.
On Saturday afternoon in New Zealand (1:30am in the UK) the drivers took to the track for the first race. King maintained his lead, pursued by his fellow BDRC rising star Hill. King’s pace was too much for his fellow Brit, and he took his first win of 2012. Van Asseldonk, who had been overtaken near the start, came third.
The second race began with the top six finishers of race one reversed. King had a bad start and fell to ninth before fighting his way back through the field to fourth. Ahead, Nick Cassidy was in charge and had a reasonable gap on Damon Leitch and Marciello for most of the race. Van Asseldonk and Auer could not keep the pace, and though King was fast enough he was too far back from the leaders.
In the final race, Josh Hill lost out to van Asseldonk but kept off Jordan King for second. Felix Serrales, who had had engine problems in the second race, finished fourth – an excellent result for Formula Renault UK.
Kiwi Nick Cassidy continues to lead the championship ahead of Damon Leitch. They have a lead of around 100 points from Josh Hill, who is now only one point ahead of van Asseldonk. Felix Serralles is fifth, while Jordan King is now sixth having recovered from two retirements in the first two races. The rookies continue to be led by Jono Lester, who is 20 points ahead of Russian Dmitry Suranovich.