Gran Turismo guru Igor Fraga has claimed his first Castrol Toyota Racing Series win at Hampton Downs Motorsport Park.
“It feels amazing,”the M2 Competition driver said.
“It means a lot. We have been working so hard after all the hard work, finally, the goals start to feel closer. We need to keep focus for the next races and put on some strong results again.”
A stellar start from the second row of the grid saw Fraga fly down the inside and pass both local man Liam Lawson and Petr Ptacek of the Czech Republic on approach to Turn 1.
A slow second phase of the getaway saw Lawson drop to fourth behind Caio Collet into the first turn and then down to fifth as Franco Colapinto found his way through.
It didn’t take long for the chaos to kick off. As the field bunched up on the run down to Turn 2, Lucas Petersson hit the back of Spike Kohlbecker who in turn went into Emilien Denner.
Kohlbecker and Denner were stranded in the run-off and the Full Course Caution was duly deployed to recover the cars.
As the Safety Car came out, Fraga led Ptacek, Collet, Colapinto and Lawson. Lirim Zendeli lay sixth with Jackson Walls, Oliver Rasmussen, Yuki Tsunoda and Gregoire Saucy the top 10 runners.
It was a clean restart up the front. Further behind though there was added drama as Axel Gnos ended up facing the wrong way on the front straight.
Lawson was quick to get by Colapinto at the Turn 4 hairpin. Not long after, Zendeli looked to go around the outside at the Turn 5 dipper but got hung out to dry on the exit kerb.
Zendeli lost out on Lap 4 as he sought to get through, again, around the outside. The move didn’t pay dividends and the driver from Germany went wide and onto the grass. He dropped from sixth to 10th.
As Ptacek fought to keep Collet at bay, that backed the Renault Sport Academy driver into the clutches of Lawson. Ptacek made a pair of mistakes, locking up into the dipper twice in a row. Come Lap 6, Lawson managed to dive down the inside for third into Turn 1 and snag the place.
By Lap 11, Lawson lunged Ptacek for second into Turn 2 and claimed the place. However, by the time he got by the margin out to the leader Fraga was some three seconds.
Ultimately, Fraga cruised home to take the win ahead of Lawson and Ptacek. Collet finished shy of the podium in fourth with Colapinto, Rasmussen, Tsunoda, Walls, Saucy and Zendeli rounding out the top 10.
Photo: Bruce Jenkins