#22 Richard Verschoor (NED – Giles Motorsport Tatuus Toyota)
Qualifying 1: 4th – Race 1 Grid: 4th – Race 1 Result: 4th
Race 2 Grid reversed Race 1 result top 4 – Grid: 1st – Race 2 Result: 1st
Qualifying 2: 5th – Race 3 Grid: 5th – Race 3 Result: 5th
Toyota Racing Series Championship position: 3rd – 843 points – after 15 of 15 races
A great win by Richard Verschoor in Race 2 at Manfeild set up the chance of overall victory in the Castrol Toyota Racing Series. The sixteen-year-old Dutchman went into the third race of the weekend, the New Zealand Grand Prix, the series finale, just two points off the championship lead.
The Red Bull Junior had led the series for most of the five weekends but started fifth on the grid for the final with his two main rivals in front of him. "I really did everything I could but we'd had to use new tyres to make sure I would win Race 2 and that left us with a used side for the final, in the early laps they just drove away," explained Verschoor.
"People are saying, 'Well done, you are the Rookie Champion, the others have done two or more years.' That's nice but I'm a racing driver and I wanted the overall win. I really think I gave it everything I could all the way through the final, I was driving as smooth as I could even though I was frustrated. Then after ten or fifteen laps the tyre wear wasn't making so much difference anymore and I was matching their times but I couldn't catch up what they'd got from the start."
"It was a better weekend," continued the Giles Motorsport driver. "We were much closer on time than Taupo and the car was good in Qualifying, it was just down to me that we were 4th and 5th, just a couple of tenths off so the speed was a lot better and I was up for the fight."
"Winning Race 2 was so important, it put me into the final two points off the lead and one off second. I've so much enjoyed winning races here. It's been a fantastic series, so competitive and you know you are wining something worthwhile."
"I'm so happy about the whole thing, I came here to learn and I've learnt so much that I think it has really set me up for the season in Europe. We'll have a big party tonight then straight back home tomorrow. I can't wait for the Renault 2.0 season to start."