Armstrong heartbroken after title loss
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After losing out on the 2018 Castrol Toyota Racing Series title on the final lap of the final race at Manfeild, Marcus Armstrong has reflected on the tumultuous last laps.
“It was quite heartbreaking. In pretty awful circumstances we lost the championship, and equally as awful we also lost the race,” said Armstrong.
“I'm more gutted about the championship, considering we have been pushing for that for the past five weeks and we lost it on the very last lap ... literally.”
After leading most of the race, Armstrong lost the lead to Richard Verschoor via a late-braking pass at turn one. The race then went under safety car — prompted by the stranded machine of Taylor Cockerton.
Had Armstrong finished in second, he would've narrowly won the title over Robert Shwartzman (who was in fourth place at the time). But when the race restarted, Armstrong's car was down on pace and sounded off song as it passed the main straight — dropping multiple positions.
He picked up the pace a few corners later; finishing seventh by the end of the race.
“I can't tell you exactly what happened, but I suppose you can put it together. I was on full throttle, and the car was not going any faster.
“Look, to lose it like that sucks, but have to give my thank you to the team. M2 Competition have been absolutely faultless.”
The other major talking point had been the brave move under brakes for the lead that Verschoor had pulled. But in hindsight Armstrong had no issue with the pass.
“Fair play to him. He sent it, he had nothing to lose, I had everything to lose, and he knew that. He's switched on, so I'll give it to him.
“I would've let him have the race if I could keep the championship. It's the championship that gets me upset.”
Armstrong now prepares for a tilt at the FIA Formula 3 European Championship, where ironically he will take on Shwartzman, who will be one of his teammates at Prema Powerteam.