Motorsport: Liam Lawson makes breakthrough in Germany
Search Driven for vehicles for sale
Sunday’s Kiwi clean sweep of the Virgin Australian Supercars Championship podium at Winton Raceway was just the tip of the iceberg for Kiwi motorsport success on the overseas stage last weekend.
Fabian Coulthard’s first win of the season for DJR Team Penske ahead of Shane van Gisbergen and Scott McLaughlin was a milestone result — the first time Kiwi drivers have shut-out the top-three positions in a Supercars championship race.
In the title race McLaughlin remains in front with a 131-point advantage over van Gisbergen while Coulthard moved up to seventh place last weekend.
Dave Holder takes the famous jump in the Fafe stage on the last day of FIA Rally Portugal. PHOTO HONZA FRONEK
Also performing well in a high-level tin-top series was Lexus factory driver Nick Cassidy (Auckland) in Japan’s Super GT Series. Cassidy is the defending Super GT Series champion with Lexus team-mate Ryo Hirakawa and their chances of back-to-back titles remain strong following a third place finish in the 300km race at Suzuka on Sunday.
Cassidy and Hirakawa are currently third in the Super GT standings which are headed by the Honda NSX-GT pairing of Naoki Yamamoto and former F1 world champion Jenson Button.
In Europe at the weekend Pukekohe teenager Liam Lawson — the 2016-17 New Zealand Formula Ford champion — achieved breakthrough wins in the German Formula 4 Championship at Eurospeedway Lausitz.
Racing on the DTM support programme, Lawson, 16, won two races also achieved a second placing in a strong performance that has boosted him to second place in the championship standings behind Lirim Zendelli (Germany).
Lawson is driving for the Van Amersfoort Racing, the same Dutch team with which Richie Stanaway won the 2011 German F3 title.
On the dirt there was podium finish in Portugal for Kiwis Dave Holder (Mt Maunganui) and Jason Farmer (Hamilton) in the third round of the Junior World Rally Championship.
In spite of a roll-over, a broken driveshaft and a puncture, Holder survived the rock-strewn stages in his Ford Fiesta R2 and has moved up to ninth place in the Junior WRC standings with two rounds remaining in Finland and Turkey.
There was also success in Germany on two wheels for Otago’s Courtney Duncan who achieved another double win in the FIM Women’s World Motocross Championship.
The Yamaha rider won both races at the German Grand Prix ahead of Italian Kiara Fontanesi (Yamaha). Duncan has built a 15-point lead over Germany’s Larissa Papanmeier (Suzuki) ahead of round four at Ottobiano in Italy on June 16-17.
Multiple New Zealand motocross champion Cody Cooper (Mt Maunganui) began his campaign in the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship at the Hangtown National near Sacramento, California on Saturday. Cooper is constesting the full 12-round US National Series as a privateer Honda rider and is 13th after the opening round.
Mangakino’s Maximus Purvis has hit form in the under-19 Development class of the Australian MX Nationals. Last weekend was a double-header — rounds three and four — of the Australian champs at Wonthaggi in Victoria with Purvis securing the MXD honours both days aboard his Yamaha and moving up to fifth in the championship.
New Zealand MX2 champ Hamish Harwood (Takaka) riding for KTM had his second podium finish of this year’s Australian series on Sunday and runs fifth in the MX2 championship while Mt Maunganui’s Rhys Carter (Kawasaki) is eighth is the MX1 class.