Liam Lawson has led an M2 Competition one-two-three in the Spirit of a Nation Trophy feature race at Teretonga Park.
In what was a dominant performance by the Red Bull Junior Team, Lawson managed to hold off a late surge by Igor Fraga of Brazil to take the win. However, it wasn’t without a few issues for Lawson.
“We got a good start, which was the main focus,” he said.
“We actually had a clutch issue from the race start before so we had to be really careful. Fortunately, we managed to get a good start.
“From there it was nice until about midway through the race. I had a complete loss of power. Everything shut down and I had no power.
“I dropped back a lot and I was freaking out. Then it came back again. We have no idea what happened, it just dropped out.”
Lawson was quick away, beating pole position winner Walls off the line. Fraga was a fast starter too. He managed to usurp Walls around the outside at Turn 1 and slot into second place.
At the exit of Turn 1, both Lirim Zendeli (Giles Motorsport) and Oliver Rasmussen (MTEC Motorsport by R-ace GP) went wide and lost ground.
There was drama on Lap 2 when Walls got Turn 2 wrong and went off the road. Fraga blew by and as Walls returned on to the track Yuki Tsunoda was forced to go wide.
The opening stanza of the race ran without much incident. Come Lap 10, Lawson suddenly slowed as he began to grab pickup on his tyres.
Fraga brought down the gap, but never got within reach of Lawson to try and make a move.
There was one last dose of drama on the penultimate lap when Oliver Rasmussen collided with Emilien Denner into Turn 1.
In the end, Lawson cruised across the line with Fraga and Tsunoda in tow. Walls was fourth with Caio Collet a distant fifth. Gregoire Saucy, Lucas Petersson, Franco Colapinto, Jose Blanco and Petr Ptacek completed the top 10.
With a sixth-place finish, a third and a win, Lawson claims the round honours as well as extending his championship lead.
The Castrol Toyota Racing Series continues at Hampton Downs Motorsport Park over 31 Januar-2 February for the Denny Hulme Memorial Trophy.
Castrol Toyota Racing Series, Spirit of a Nation Trophy
|1||Liam Lawson||20 Laps|
|17||Emilien Denner||Lap 23|
|18||Oliver Rasmussen||Lap 23|