Estonian Martin Rump has extended his championship advantage with victory in this afternoon’s Toyota Racing Series 15-lap race at Highlands Motorsport Park.
Andrew Tang had pole for the race but was slow off the line with wheelspin and Rump went through to lead by the first corner. He was never headed, though the field closed up under a yellow flag at mid-distance when Denis Korneev went into the wall of the start-finish straight.
Rump is in his first season in TRS and is registered as a rookie. He is advised by his countryman, TRS graduate and race winner Sten Pentus who recommended he enter the series in order to gain single-seater race experience.
“I did not expect to lead the series, always this has been about learning so this is great but there is a long way to go.”
Andrew Tang was happy enough to bank 67 points for second place, keeping his championship hopes alive. He is now fourth on 295 points and also set the new lap record – a 1:30.517 – for TRS. His time was also a new outright lap record for Highlands Motorsport Park.
“I would have tried to catch Martin in the closing laps but I am not sure I would have got him, he was going very fast,” he said afterward.
An elated Ryan Tveter was third overall, marking his first ever race podium.
Egor Orudzhev was fifth and now steps up to second in the championship with 331 points.
UK driver Jann Mardenborough did not finish the race but remains in contention with 321 points.
Rump’s win was his first of the championship, and as winner he drew the marble that would decide the partial reverse grid for Sunday’s second race of the weekend. He drew an eight, meaning he will start eighth. It is the third weekend in a row that the eight marble has been drawn. Gustavo Lima starts from pole for the 15-lap race.