Photo: Toyota Racing Series
The first race of the season-opening round of the Toyota Racing Series at Teretonga did not yield much in the way of surprise as polesitter Lucas Auer took his maiden win in the category after being the quickest man through most of the sessions of the weekend.
Auer, who started from pole twice on this track last year yet failed to finish on either of the occasions, finally made the most out of his pace, taking a comandeering lights-to-flag victory in the shortened 14-lap race.
The race did not run to its previously scheduled 15-lap mark as Singaporean rookie Andrew Tang stalled his car on the grid, forcing the race direction to run an extra warmup lap instead of lap one. Besides that, the race ended up accident-free, a stark contrast to last year’s season opener.
Having started from the second row of the grid, title holder Nick Cassidy passed Briton Alex Lynn at the beginning of the race and held him off to the finish line. Felix Serralles and Bruno Bonifacio didn’t move outside of their respective grid positions, finishing fourth and fifth, while Pipo Derani crucially passed Nicholas Latifi for sixth, which was later selected as pole position for race two in the reverse grid draw.
Steijn Schothorst headed the rest of the pack in eight, ahead of Tanart Sathienthirakul and Damon Leitch. Open-wheel debutant Jann Mardenborough did well to finish in 11th, keeping the vastly more experienced Tatiana Calderon behind him. Spike Goddard, Akash Nandy and Dennis Olsen rounded up the top 15 ahead of Michael Scott, Tang and Ryan Cullen.
As determined by random selection, the top six in the first race will be reversed to form the grid order for the second race, putting Brazilians Derani and Bonifacio on the front row.
|1||Lucas Auer||Giles Motorsport||13m02.929s||14|
|2||Nick Cassidy||M2 Competition||+2.521s||14|
|3||Alex Lynn||M2 Competition||+4.724s||14|
|4||Felix Serralles||Giles Motorsport||+6.527s||14|
|5||Bruno Bonifacio||Giles Motorsport||+7.345s||14|
|6||Pipo Derani||Giles Motorsport||+9.725s||14|
|7||Nicholas Latifi||Giles Motorsport||+10.377s||14|
|8||Steijn Schothorst||M2 Competition||+14.039s||14|
|9||Tanart Satienthirakul||ETEC Motorsport||+14.823s||14|
|10||Damon Leitch||Victory Motor Racing||+14.922s||14|
|11||Jann Mardenborough||ETEC Motorsport||+17.048s||14|
|12||Tatiana Calderon||ETEC Motorsport||+17.817s||14|
|13||Spike Goddard||M2 Competition||+22.977s||14|
|14||Akash Nandy||ETEC Motorsport||+23.373s||14|
|15||Dennis Olsen||M2 Competition||+24.161s||14|
|16||Michael Scott||Victory Motor Racing||+29.762s||14|
|17||Andrew Tang||ETEC Motorsport||+30.589s||14|
|18||Ryan Cullen||M2 Competition||+50.143s||14|