Gran Turismo world champ wins Hampton Downs Toyota Racing Series opener
Search Driven for vehicles for sale
Gran Turismo world champion Igor Fraga has won his first race in the Castrol Toyota Racing Series, after dominating the category's opening shootout at Hampton Downs.
The Brazilian has long threatened to win races, and led the full 20 laps of today's race despite starting on the second row. The result sees him close the championship gap to points leader Liam Lawson, who finished second ahead of Petr Ptacek.
The opening lap was a chaotic one — triggered by slightly tardy starts from both front-row starters Ptacek and Lawson. It was the cars on the second row that instead starred. From third, Fraga leaped to first on the inside line while Caio Collet flew around the outside.
The leaders were briefly four wide, but eventually Fraga emerged in front ahead of Ptacek, Collet, Franco Colapinto, and Lawson in fifth. A crash down the order involving Emilien Denner and Spike Kohlbecker forced a safety car, but the race was soon back under way.
On the restart it was evident that Lawson was quick and the second-placed Ptacek was feeling the heat. The latter began to make a few errors while holding a fierce defense of his position, while the former was carving through from fifth. He first nipped by Colapinto at turn four before putting a risky move on Collet on the turn one exit.
Lawson was finally back in second on lap 11 after taking a big look on the inside of Ptacek at turn one, then following up with a late dive at turn two. Ptacek left the door open for the series leader, and Lawson was back to second with a three-second gap to Fraga in first.
Lawson slowly chewed into Fraga's lead, but the Brazilian was able to retain most of that original three seconds — eventually winning by 2.8 seconds. Lawson, Ptacek, Collet, Colapinto, Oliver Rasmussen, Yuki Tsunoda, Jackson Walls, Gregoire Saucy, and Lirim Zendeli completed the top 10.
Race two and three of the Toyota Racing Series weekend are scheduled for 11.50am and 16.50pm tomorrow, with live coverage available on Sky Sport 55.
Castrol Toyota Racing Series Round 3 Hampton Downs Motorsport Park results; Race 1
1. Igor Fraga
2. Liam Lawson
3. Petr Ptacek
4. Caio Collet
5. Franco Colapinto
6. Oliver Rasmussen
7. Yuki Tsunoda
8. Jackson Walls
9. Gregoire Saucy
10. Lirim Zendeli
11. Ido Cohen
12. Henning Enqvist
13. Lucas Petersson
14. Rui Andrade
15. Tijmen van der Helm
16. Spike Kohlbecker
17. Axel Gnos
DNF. Emilien Denner