Verschoor hangs on for win as Armstrong plays the long game
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Dutchman Richard Verschoor has won the opening race at the Hampton Downs round of the Toyota Racing Series on Saturday.
Championship leader Marcus Armstrong made a strong start from third to get right on Verschoor's tail and followed him for the duration of the race. He made a brief attack towards the end of the race but eventually the Kiwi settled for second.
"That was a good race," the 17-year-old said. "If I wanted to attack I could have. The last five laps it was necessary for me to back off because the water temp was high.
"I am happy with second.
"In my opinion I could have won that race today but it would have come at the risk of the engine."
Verschoor was pleased to get the win but knows he was lucky to hang on.
"To be honest I was going a little bit too slow at the beginning," Verschoor said. "I didn't push at all and then I made a mistake – I went off on the marbles – and he was on my ass."
American Juan Manuel Correa held off a charging Robert Shwartzman for third. Shwartzman retains second in the championship.
Rookie Reid Harker brought his car home in an impressive sixth place while fellow New Zealanders Taylor Cockerton (eighth), Brendon Leitch (ninth) and Ryan Yardley (13th) were further back.
Armstrong has clearly adopted a more consistent approach this season having demonstrated speed last season in winning three races last year but also fought too hard over places at times and recorded costly DNFs.
His second placing continues a run of seven straight podium finishes to the 2018 season.