Yuki Tsunoda

Tsunoda & Lawson push on to Pukekohe - TRS Round 4

#1 Liam Lawson (NZL – M2 Competition Toyota FT-60)
Castrol Toyota Series position: 2nd – 202 points – after 9 of 15 races

#33 Yuki Tsunoda (JAP – M2 Competition Toyota FT-60)
Castrol Toyota Series position: 5th – 157 points – after 9 of 15 races

Into the penultimate round of the Toyota Series this weekend at Pukekohe, the northern most circuit in the New Zealand championship. There is everything to play for; Kiwi Liam Lawson wants to celebrate his 18th birthday next Tuesday as points leader, a position he only lost last weekend thanks to an engine problem.

Fellow Red Bull Junior Yuki Tsunoda, the 19-year-old Japanese, is also looking ahead, determined to challenge again for a top three championship position.

Lawson shrugs it off

"Obviously I was pretty disappointed for a while this week but at end of the day that's racing and you have to move on," asserted Lawson who has 17 points to make up on the leader. "So I'm going to be battling Igor (Fraga) for the next 2 weeks and that's fine. As I said last Sunday, the pressure is on him now."

"We have changed the car quite a bit every weekend as the tracks are all different," explained the M2 Competition driver. "Added to that there is drifting in the programme again this weekend and the rubber that gets put down really messes with the balance of the car. It's just through the first couple of corners at Puke but we know that is something that we have to take care of."

"Other than that there is no reason to change anything in the way we do things. Perhaps I am going to be a little more aggressive going after the points but we were managing everything very well and had the championship going the way we wanted."

Tsunoda putting in the effort with 2 wheels and 4

"I'm really looking forward to this weekend," enthused the Honda Formula Dream Project driver. "The track looks cool and I know that we are now in a better situation with the car. We have solved all the major set-up problems so we should be able to be quicker."

"Qualifying can certainly improve, better traffic management and putting the one good lap together when we need to," added Tsunoda who did manage to squeeze in a bit of fresh air training within the hectic back-to-back weekend schedule. "Yes we did some mountain biking, great fun, really beautiful."

Pukekohe weekend schedule – all times NZST (New Zealand Summer Time - CET+12)
Thursday 6th February
13.15 - 13.45: Test Session 1
15.35 - 16.05: Test Session 2

Friday 7th February
10.40 - 11.10: Practice 1
13.05 - 13.35: Practice 2
15.15 - 15.45: Practice 3

Saturday 8th February
10.55 - 11.10: Qualifying 1
14.19: Race 1 (20 laps)

Sunday 9th February
10.13 - 10.28: Qualifying 2
13.37: Race 2 (20 laps)
16.57: Race 3 (25 laps) The New Zealand Motor Cup