#22 Richard Verschoor (NED – Giles Motorsport Tatuus Toyota)
Qualifying 1: 7th – Race 1 Grid: 7th – Race 1 Result: 4th
Race 2 Grid reversed Race 1 result top 6 – Grid: 3rd – Race 2 Result: 2nd
Qualifying 2: 4th – Race 3 Grid: 4th – Race 3 Result: 16th
Toyota Racing Series Championship position: 1st – 539 points – after 9 of 15 races
Though his run of brilliant results took a knock with an early collision in Race 3 at Hampton Downs, Richard Verschoor had already scored a fourth and a second in the Giles Motorsport Tatuus Toyota and leaves the third round of the Castrol Toyota Racing Series with a 22 point championship lead.
The sixteen-year-old Dutchman was in great form again in New Zealand, quick from the start of free practice on yet another new circuit but then wasn't happy with qualifying. "Not really," explained the Red Bull Junior. "P7 in the first session wasn't good, it was a combination of the car not being quite right and me not driving as well as I should. Q2 was a bit better, especially from me but I was still two or three tenths off pole but we know that the racing is something else."
Race 1 on Saturday proved Richard's point. "I didn't get a good start, slipped back to P9 but then got going and worked my way through. We were lucky though, lucky that the engine finished, I was losing power and couldn't use sixth in the end but at least we did finish and fourth wasn't bad."
"My Race 2 start was better and I got going well but was chasing a guy with better tyres, he had engine failure in qualifying so his tyres hadn't done many laps and that really made a difference in the end. I made some mistakes trying to catch him and in the end just had to let him go."
"The last race should have been good, I got a good start, was up to third then back to P4 by the end of lap 1. Then there was a safety car and after the restart I was defending but someone still came past up the inside he couldn't make the corner, I had to turn in as there was someone outside me and another car came inside and I was squeezed between the two, damaging my steering, tyre and front wing."
"I went for the pits for repairs, came back out and got back up to twelfth but was then penalised for cutting across the pit lane entry line and that dropped me to 16th and cost me a lot of points. Still, head up and on to the next event," concluded Verschoor.