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Monday, Jun 19 04:30pm
AUTHOR: Simon Chapman

Cockerton ‘stoked’ as victory puts him within title reach

Taylor Cockerton has cut Daniel Lu’s Formula Masters Series lead to just 18-points heading into the penultimate round at China’s Zhuhai International Circuit.

 

The Kiwi powered through an up-and-down kind of weekend, which saw him bring home a soild haul of points. 

 

“Sunday was another really successful day,” Cockerton said speaking with velocitynews.co.nz.

 

“The conditions were similar to Saturday with patches of sunshine and heavy rain throughout the day which made it difficult to make tire and setup choices.”

 

Having taken a second in the opening race of the weekend, Cockerton again started near the front for the second race of the weekend.

 

The young gun started third in a race shortened to just seven laps. He made a strong start in the tricky conditions, but a mistake early in the race dropped him back to fifth.

 

Fortunately, those ahead of him suffered similarly and struggled to keep their cars on the road. The safety car came out mid-race making it a four-lap sprint to the flag.

 

On the restart race leader Danial Frost and series leader Lu out-braked each other and speared off into the gravel. That gave Cockerton two easy spots to put him third.

 

With a strong setup and pace to go with it, Cockerton stormed to the front of the field and quickly dispatched Japanese driver Tomoki Takahashi and Mexico’s Manuel Cabrera.

 

“I’m over the moon with the win. We had strong pace and things a fell into our hands, and I was wrapped to get another win for Pinnacle Motorsport.

 

The following race wasn’t so kind. A judgement error cost Cockerton another chance at victory.

 

With a damp track quickly drying out most of the field opted to run on slick tyres—Cockerton didn’t. Just he and Lu ran with wet tyres for the duration of the race, a decision which ultimately cost him.

 

“I made a good start and was putting pressure on Lu in the early laps. However, with the track drying, it became much tough to cool the tires and they began overheating, and I was losing grip.

 

“I held third for much of the race until one of the drivers on slicks got by me and eventually won the race, while we crossed the line fourth.

 

“It was a 50/50 call on the tires, but in hindsight I should've made the call to slicks.

 

“It was the only downside to what was a super weekend. I'm stoked with our results and more importantly, I'm in contention for the title.”

 

Cockerton will return to China’s Zhuhai International Circuit for the second-to-last round of the championship on July 28-30.

 

Photo: Formula Masters China

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