Nick Cassidy will head into next weekend’s final round of the Toyota Racing Series with a healthy 126 point lead over Hannes van Asseldonk after taking out the NZ Motor Cup at Hampton Downs.
Cassidy shot from second on the grid to the lead off the start and would not be headed for the duration, despite two Safety Car appearances throughout the 20 laps.
Van Asseldonk also made a good start to pass pole-sitter Evans, but latter lost the position on the first restart.
Evans was just 1.3s adrift of Cassidy at the end, but it was the latter’s start that had won the day.
“All weekend I’ve really been able to master the starts, I’m really pleased with how it’s come together,” said Cassidy afterward.
“Taupo was pretty bad by comparison, I couldn’t seem to get anything right off the starts.”
Van Asseldonk kept a watching brief to take third, while Josh Hill, Lucas Auer and Nathanael Brethon rounded out the top six.
The two Safety Cars had been brought out due to offs from Bruno Bonifacio (Turn 2) and Dmitry Suranovich (Turn 8), while Damon Leitch joined the pair on the retirements list after a botched last lap pass on Jono Lester saw the two Kiwis make contact.
Raffaele Marciello could only manage eighth in the final after taking a lights-to-flag win in Race 2 of the weekend on Sunday morning.
Auer, Jordan King, van Asseldonk, Cassidy and Lester completed the top five, while Evans failed to finish.
The Mark Webber protégé will make his second TRS appearance for the season next weekend at Manfield, where he will attempt to defend his 2011 New Zealand Grand Prix title.