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TRS

Lawson's brilliant Pukekohe double snatches back TRS points lead

Liam Lawson

#1 Liam Lawson (NZL – M2 Competition Toyota FT-60)
Qualifying 1: 1st – Race 1 Grid: 1st – Race 1 Result: 1st
Race 2 reverse top 6 grid: 5th – Race 2 Result: 4th
Qualifying 2: 1st – Race 3 Grid: 1st – Race 3 Result: 1st
Castrol Toyota Series position: 1st – 286 points – after 12 of 15 races

#33 Yuki Tsunoda (JAP – M2 Competition Toyota FT-60)
Qualifying 1: 4th – Race 1 Grid: 4th – Race 1 Result: 4th (Penalty)
Race 2 reverse top 6 grid: 6th – Race 2 Result: 7th
Qualifying 2: 16th – Race 3 Grid: 16th – Race 3 Result: 4th
Castrol Toyota Series position: 4th – 214 points – after 12 of 15 races

Liam Lawson was in fabulous form at Pukekohe, notching up two wins from two poles and regaining the points lead in the penultimate round of the TRS series. Fellow Red Bull Junior Yuki Tsunoda was also impressive, crossing the line 2nd in Race 1 and storming from 16th to 4th in Race 3.

So after shrugging off the technical frustrations from a week ago, 17-year-old New Zealander Lawson's name now joins those of Prince Bira, Chris Amon, Jackie Stewart and Stirling Moss plus a host of others on the country's oldest motorsport trophy, the fabulous Motor Cup.

Lawson unbeatable at home

"Just incredible, what a feeling to end the day like that, absolutely fantastic," enthused the M2 Competition driver. "The whole weekend as been really great, nailing both Qualies, that is something we hadn't been able to do, and then turning them both into wins."

"We knew we had a good car through practice, we were trying a few things so didn't top the timing sheets but when it came to Qualifying we knew the car was good and it was just down to me to deliver."

"Race 1 I didn't get such a great start and Igor (Fraga, points leader) got ahead. I knew that if I didn't get him back on lap one I was in trouble so I went for it and managed to pull it off. It is so hard to pass round here so even though we then had a few full course yellows it was not that hard to defend."

"In Race 2 the main thing was that I got ahead of Igor early. The guy in front of me was defending super aggressively so there was not much point in risking anything for one more place and I got some more points back on Igor."

"He was on the front row with me for Race 3 and he got away well so we were side by side through Turn 1. Again I knew I had to do it then and I got a wheel in front. I got clear and then someone tapped him into a spin behind us. He still managed to get through to pick up some points but I guess we have both had our bit of bad luck now."

"It's great to have the points lead back, anything can happen but I don't have to take any extra risks in the last three races, we've just got to keep on the same way."

Tsunoda tears through in Race 3

There was no doubting Tsunoda's speed at yet another new circuit for the of 19-year-old Japanese, a great drive in Race 1 and a blinder in Race 3. "Yes, that last race was fun. I got a great start from P16 and passed some cars off the line, pushed hard on the first lap and was P10 or 11 at the end of Lap 1."

"I kept pushing, I believed in the car and my pace. I really enjoyed the drive because it is a tight track, not so many passing opportunities but I made it work. It was especially satisfying as we had to put old tyres on the right side because we had used the new ones for Race 2."

"We put the new tyres on for Race 2 as I had a better grid position but in that Race I lost power and thought I was going to stop. It came back and I could finish 7th but it was still disappointing."

Second place in Race 1 was taken away from the Honda Formula Dream Project member post race, he was demoted to 4th for crossing the line on the Formation Lap going too fast. "It was a misunderstanding with my race engineer and there was quite a bit of confusion about the rule. A lot of drivers got penalised."

Tsunoda was happy to have regained 4th place in the title chase and a top three finish is still a possibility. "We are still struggling with some technical issues which cost us quite a bit and other things effected our result this weekend. I misunderstood my Race Engineer in Q2 and thought I would have time for another push lap when in fact I didn't so ended up P16."

"So we know that we have speed but we can get better results at the final round next weekend," concluded the M2 Competition driver.