Liam Lawson

Podiums & misfortune for Lawson & Tsunoda in TRS

#1 Liam Lawson (NZL – M2 Competition Toyota FT-60)
Qualifying 1: 2nd – Race 1 Grid: 2nd – Race 1 Result: 2nd
Race 2 reverse top 6 grid: 5th – Race 2 Result: 2nd
Qualifying 2: 2nd – Race 3 Grid: 2nd – Race 3 Result: DNF (Technical)
Castrol Toyota Series position: 2nd – 202 points – after 9 of 15 races

#33 Yuki Tsunoda (JAP – M2 Competition Toyota FT-60)
Qualifying 1: 9th – Race 1 Grid: 9th – Race 1 Result: 7th
Race 2 reverse top 6 grid: 7th – Race 2 Result: 16th (Penalty)
Qualifying 2: 6th – Race 3 Grid: 6th – Race 3 Result: 3rd
Castrol Toyota Series position: 5th – 157 points – after 9 of 15 races

Another intense weekend of TRS competition at New Zealand's Hampton Downs saw Red Bull Juniors Liam Lawson and Yuki Tsunoda nail down three podiums places between them but retirement from Race 3 dropped Lawson to second in the title chase for the first time since the opening round.

Tsunoda also lost out on Sunday when a 10 second post Race 2 penalty dumped the 19-year-old Japanese from 4th to 16th. For his M2 Competition teammate, 17-year-old New Zealander Lawson, the loss of a handsome points lead was the bitterest pill.

Lawson talks of disappointment

"I wasn't saying too much for a while after that, not what you'd want to hear anyway. We just lost power, nothing we could do, that's the second time in two weekends. It almost cost us the result in Teretonga but we got lucky, this time it didn't come back and that was the end of it."

"I'm over it.. don't know what to say really, we do everything right as a team and then this happens. The M2 guys have been great, it's not their fault. We've just got to pick ourselves up from this and carry on, not change anything, just keep doing what we were doing that gave us the lead in the first place," stated Lawson who had taken second in Races 1 and 2.

"It's going to be tough to get back the points on Igor (Fraga) but the pressure is on him now, we are going to be battling him all the way."

"I was pushing him hard this weekend, not taking silly risks, making overtakes where it made sense, like Race 2 coming through from 5th on the grid to 2nd. I was doing that through Race 3, pushing Igor hard until our car stopped. I'm going to keep doing it through the next six races."

"The pace was really strong all weekend and we know we can carry that forward so we've got to try and ignore the things beyond our control and make the pressure count."

Tsunoda results not matching the speed

"It was a frustrating weekend because the pace was OK from the start of Qualifying but I couldn't quite make the best results even though 3rd in the final race was OK," explained the Honda Formula Dream Project driver.

"At this track the tyres lasted about four laps in Qualifying so you could build up through those laps. Unfortunately in Q1 I went off track on the fourth lap so missed my best lap.

I was only about 3 tenths off pole but the times were so close I was left P9"

"In Race 1 the pace was there and I got up to P7 but there were a lot of safety cars and and that left very little time to overtake which is very difficult here."

"For Race 2 I started P7, got quickly up to P5 then to P4 but after the race I was penalised. I thought that was strange, I had made slight contact at the first corner but I didn't expect that to cause an investigation. It was a strange decision and very frustrating."

"In Q2 I wasn't happy with the pace at the start, we managed to improve it but not enough, again only about 3 tenths off and P6."

"I made a normal start in Race 3 then passed one driver in turn 1, another in turn 2. I had strong pace and could pressure for P2 but again there were a lot of safety car periods, a red flag and I didn't get the chance to get past."

"So quite a frustrating weekend," concluded the M2 Competition driver.