Toyota Racing Series' Friday race free to attend at Hampton Downs
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It's fair to say that last weekend's round of the Castrol Toyota Racing Series didn't exactly unfold in the way people predicted, with forecasted winds prompting the postponement of the second and third races. It was an unprecedented move for the series and (by our reckoning, correct us if we're wrong) motorsport in general.
It's meant that those two races have had to find homes elsewhere on the category's five-week calendar. And so one of them, the reverse grid sprint race, has been ported to this weekend's Hampton Downs Motorsport Park event. It's scheduled for 4.25pm this afternoon, and yes, it's free for anyone to attend.
"Teretonga's race cancellations were a disappointment to everyone including SpeedWorks and we are actively considering ways to make good for the fans who missed out last weekend," said SpeedWorks owner Geoff Short.
"The missing races have to be run and we have been working alongside Toyota over these past couple of days to see if we could do anything with the races that would benefit the fans. One thing we could immediately do was to include one on our Friday schedule towards the end of the day this week. Entry is free on Fridays anyway, but this one is now a bit special.
"There will be practice sessions for all classes throughout the day to watch, including the TRS and Formula 5000 cars and as a highlight for anyone coming along, the next, much-awaited instalment between Liam and Marcus and the rest of the internationals will complete the afternoon of track action. An added bonus is it minimises time for volunteers and means the busy weekend schedule is not impacted."
The series thus far has been a closely-fought fight, with two promising young New Zealanders — Liam Lawson and Marcus Armstrong — leading the championship picture after two rounds. But, there's still 11 races left to play out, and as we've seen in the past (former champion Thomas Randle springs to mind) anything can happen.
This afternoon's shootout is a reverse-grid endeavour, in the order that the race was intended to be last Sunday. So that means young Japanese driver (and factory TOM'S Toyota junior) Kazuto Kotaka will start from pole. Alongside him will be Mercedes-AMG and Red Bull–backed ace Lucas Auer, with Cameron Das and Artem Petrov on the second row. Kiwis Lawson and Armstrong start from row three, while the third Kiwi in the mix — Brendon Leitch — starts from eighth.