British driver Callum Ilott topped the timesheets in three test sessions for Toyota Racing Series today at Taupo. In blustery conditions that caught out several drivers he posted a 1:23.250 this afternoon. The race lap record for TRS at Taupo is 1:24.444, set by Jordan King in 2012.
Ilott, 16, is the current European KF-class karting champion, won the WSK KF class super masters title, and was third in KF class at the WSK Champions Cup. He has been karting since 2008 and is making his first foray into ‘wings and slicks’ single-seater racing at TRS 2015 with ETEC Motorsport.
Behind him, more than half the field went under the lap record in the third session, with Brandon Maisano second quickest on 1:23.505 and Kiwi James Munro third on 1:23.667. Fourth fastest – and just 1/1000 of a second behind on 1:23.668 – was American Santino Ferrucci. Fifth fastest was NZ Motor Cup winner Sam MacLeod. MacLeod, has confirmed a drive in the FIA European Formula 3 Championship – the most fiercely competitive in the world - with the Motopark team. Five of the drivers so far announced or with announcements to be confirmed are current or recent TRS drivers.
The first session of the day was topped by a driver making his TRS debut: Sergio Sette Camara, 16, takes over the number 7 car previously used by Armenian John Simonyan and will contest the Taupo and Manfeild rounds, competing in seven races of the total 16.
A recent graduate to open-wheelers, Camara’s karting results include winning the IAME International Final in the X30 Junior class in 2012 and second in the Graduate class at the Copa Brasil de Kart in 2013. In 2014 he has been racing Formula 3 in Brazil (seventh overall) and had a limited campaign in the FIA European Formula 3 Championship. Camara posted a 1:24.319.
The second session saw Russian GP2 driver Artem Markelov go quickest with a 1:24.219. Arjun Maini crashed out of the second session, hitting the tyre wall on the start-finish straight. He was unhurt but the damage to the car forced him to sit out the final session.
The TRS cars return to the track at Ricoh Motorsport Park tomorrow for qualifying session at 10.30 am NZDST; races are at 1.30 pm and 3.30 pm.