Motorsport: Stroll fails to increase his Toyota lead in weekend races
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Toyota Racing Series points leader Canadian Lance Stroll left Hampton Downs after the weekend's racing with a wry smile. He couldn't quite believe he was still 55 points ahead of Indian driver Arjun Maini and Frenchman Brendon Maisano.
The normally quick and consistent Stroll wobbled in race one on Saturday with a DNF, scrabbled to a fourth in yesterday's first race and came good with a second in the feature race for the New Zealand Motor Cup.
His nearest rival, Maini, didn't capitalise over the weekend, struggling with a 16th and fourth to go with his win on Saturday.
"There was no way I thought I'd still be leading the series by as much as I am at the start of the last race," said Stroll. "So many things can happen in a short space of time in racing and with Arjun [Maini] falling off in the morning it meant I had to stay on the track and get as many points as I could.
"I'm very happy with Sunday's races. I think it's great training for me how to deal with mistakes. For me it's not about making the mistake, it's about how you recover from them."
The weather unsettled a number of drivers as yesterday morning's race was the first held in the wet so far in the championship. Four cars failed to finish.
Maisano showed the experience garnered in a similar formula in Europe to take the win from American Santino Ferrucci and Dane Mathis Kristensen.
"It was very difficult in the race because the conditions were very bad and there was a lot of water on the track," said Maisano. "I used my experience to get a good start and after that it was easy to lead the race and I didn't push too much to make a mistake. It's also a lot of good points for me in the championship."
There was a dry line for the feature race and pole-sitter Sam MacLeod took advantage of his front row start to lead the chasing pack into turn one and was never really challenged over the ensuing 20 laps.
The damp track proved treacherous for those who ventured off the dry line and there were a few heart-in-the-mouth moments. However, there was no repeat of the morning's carnage and red flags.
Leaving the scrabbling pack to sort themselves out, MacLeod strung together quick but sure-footed laps to finish in front of Stroll and Maisano.
The series heads to Taupo next weekend.