Saturday, Jan 12 02:54pm
AUTHOR: Simon Chapman

Liam Lawson goes lights-to-flag in dominant debut win

Liam Lawson has opened his account in the Toyota Racing Series with a dominant win on debut.


It was a solid start by the M2 Competition driver who got the initial jump on pole sitter Raoul Hyman. As the pair went side-by-side into the bus stop chicane, Hyman dropped back and Lawson took the hole shot.


Further behind, Brendon Leitch made a strong start to go from sixth to fourth. Armstrong got up a place too as Esteban Muth struggled to get away.


A mistake out of the Turn 14 hairpin by Brendon Leitch saw him come under attack from Muth. Slow over the bridge, Leitch dropped back and allowed both Auer and Muth by.


By lap three it was Lawson who led Hyman, Armstrong, Muth and Auer. Further adrift was Leitch, Cameron Das, Petr Ptacek, Kazuto Kotaka and Artem Petrov.


At the front of the field, Lawson was streaks in front of the field. The 16-year-old was seconds ahead of the field only a handful of laps into the race.


Lucas Auer pulled off an ambitious move on Esteban Muth at the Turn 20 hairpin and demoted the Belgian.


With two laps to go Armstrong got by Hyman for second. That left him open to an attack from Auer who managed to get by as well.


Ultimately, Lawson was untouchable. The Pukekohe local eventually finished nine seconds ahead of Armstrong and Auer. Hyman was fourth while Leitch managed to scavenge fifth. 


Castrol Toyota Racing Series, Round 1, Race 1


Pos Driver Laps/Gap
1 Liam Lawson 15 laps
2 Marcus Armstrong +9.037
3 Lucas Auer +10.060 
4 Raoul Hyman +13.106
5 Brendon Leitch +15.158
6 Esteban Muth +19.280
7 Petr Ptacek +20.507
8 Kazuto Kotaka +20.882
9 Cameron Das +22.088
10 Artem Petrov +22.727
11 Calan Williams +32.163
12 Petru Florescu +33.554
13 Parker Locke +36.209
14 Dev Gore +37.060
15 Thomas Smith +42.749