Daruvala Goes Back To Back At Toyota Racing Series Opener

Published 15 January 2017

In a race punctuated by three safety car periods in the 20 laps, the Indian driver led from start to finish to repeat his win of 12 months ago.

But several of his rivals struck problems, often of their own making. “There were more safety cars than I anticipated,” said Daruvala. “But I’m really happy to get the win and get back on track.”

He said he had learnt from his mistake on Saturday when Marcus Armstrong had over taken him after a safety car restart. “I managed to control the starts better.”

In the morning preliminary event he tangled with another driver and spun off and failed to finish scoring no points.

Behind Daruvala, Enaam Ahmed claimed the runner-up spot with Pedro Piquet third. “I tried to get around the outside of Jehan on those restarts,” said Ahmed. “It was a good scrap.”

The consistent Richard Verschoor (Netherlands) with another fourth place has taken the lead in the series by three points from Thomas Randle (Australia), who finished fifth.

Hometown hero Marcus Armstrong, who won the first race of the weekend on Saturday, held second at the end of the first lap, but then had an off track excursion, damaging his car’s front wing.

He pitted to change the wing under the first safety car period and had battled back into the top ten, when he clashed with Australian Harry Hayek and damaged the front suspension of his car and ended his race.

“The second lap was my fault,” said Armstrong. “I’m not sure what happened with Harry.”

That brought out the final safety car which resulted in a one lap sprint to the chequered flag.

Earlier Taylor Cockerton had won the preliminary race, but the Pukekohe driver was adjudged to have jumped the start and was penalized 10 seconds putting him back to fourth place.

In the main race, Cockerton punctured and finished outside the top ten. That left Brendon Leitch (Cromwell) to finish as the top Kiwi in seventh place.

Results: Castrol Toyota Racing Series, Round 1, Lady Wigram Trophy Race, 20 laps, Ruapuna Park, Christchurch.

1, J Daruvala (India);
2, E Ahmed (England);
3, P Piquet (Brazil);
4, R Verschoor (Netherlands)
5, T Randle (Australia)
6, F Habsburg (Austria)
7, B Leitch (Cromwell)
8, C Hahn (Brazil)
9, C Enders (USA)
10, H Hayek (Australia)

 

Series points:

1, Verschoor, 181;
2, Randle, 178;
3, Daruvala, 142;
4, Habsburg, 136;
5, Armstrong, 135;
6, Ahmed, 134
7, Cockerton, 125;
8=, Leitch, Piquet, 123;
10, Laliberte, 102.

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