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Opportunities afoot for Taylor Cockerton in Asia

Taylor Cockerton wants to end his racing season on a high in hopes it’ll boost his chances of more drives in Asia.

 

The final round of the China Endurance Series takes place this weekend with a triple-header set to close out the season.

 

Cockerton made his debut at the penultimate round in September at Zhuhai but was only able to race on Saturday after Sunday’s race was washed out. That means this weekend will see three races rather than the usual two.

 

The field will be on equal footing too, with the series racing on a new circuit.

 

Cockerton made a strong debut earlier this year with Kevin O’hara to take second place in only his first race. With half a weekend’s worth of racing under his belt, Cockerton heads to the final with leading outfit KCMG riding a wave of confidence.

 

“Obviously I’d like to win,” he told velocitynews.co.nz.

 

“I think the pace that I showed at Zhuhai definitely confirmed to me that we can win a race and have the potential.

 

“The car is really fast, and we pretty much didn’t do any set up changes all weekend. We left it where it was, which was positive. It showed that the car was in a good window and both Ken and I were really comfortable throughout the whole weekend.

 

“The biggest challenge will be the track, it’s brand new. So I’ll need to maximise all the practice practice session.

 

“I’m out there to win. Hopefully we’ll finish the season on a high for the team.”

 

Cockerton came into the series with very few racing miles under his belt in the year. A run in the five-round Toyota Racing Series in January and February was started his year but following that he’d not been in a race car.

 

Fortunately, it didn’t take him much time to get up to speed in the LMP3-specification Nissan V8-powered Ligier JS-P3.

 

“It didn’t take me as long to get used to it as I thought it would, which was really encouraging for me,” he said.

 

“We had two practice sessions on the Friday and by the end of the first practice I was chasing tenths. I able to adapt to the car nicely. It’s similar to the single seater in the high-speed stuff.

 

“It’s got a huge amount of downforce obviously, so you can drive it pretty hard. It’s a lot heavier. Lots of things that I had to adapt to. It’s an awesome car to drive and is a lot more powerful.

 

“It’s probably the first car that I’ve driven that’s overpowered. There’s a lot of things I know I can improve on and find speed in the car.”

 

This weekend’s final could open another door into the wider Asia region for Cockerton.

 

“There’s even a potential drive in the Asian Le Mans Series, which starts in late November.

 

“There’s a lot of opportunities out there at the moment, but I’m not setting my expectations too high. I want to start where I left off because I know the speed is there.”

 

Fellow New Zealander Andrew Waite will also be racing this weekend with PTRS alongside Ye Hongli.

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