Lando Norris snares TRS, NZ Grand Prix double

Lando Norris storms to the TRS, NZ Grand Prix double. pic: John Cowpland/www.photosport.nz Lando Norris wins the NZ Grand Prix, Toyota Racing Series, Manifold, Fielding, New Zealand. Sunday, 14 February, 2016. Copyright photo: John Cowpland / www.photosport.nz

Lando Norris storms to the TRS, NZ Grand Prix double. pic: John Cowpland/www.photosport.nz

British teenager Lando Norris has collected the coveted New Zealand Grand Prix and Toyota Racing Series double at Manfeild.

Norris added the TRS to his growing list of achievements, sealing the title in the middle race.

The World Karting and MSA Formula champion then iced his signature TRS season by brilliantly controlling the 35-lap Grand Prix from pole position.

The pint-sized M2 Competition driver answered every move by runner-up Artem Markelov while Ferninand Habsburg finished third.

“I’m surprised I did as well as I did,” Norris said, who admitted the Grand Prix was the longest race he has ever competed in. “It’s been a great five weeks.”

There was drama in the closing stages as Pedro Piquet stormed into second position but was judged to have passed under double yellow flags at the final corner.

A post-race decision saw the son of triple World Champion Nelson Piquet receive a 30s penalty.

Norris, 16, was the class act of the 15-race TRS season which uniquely runs across five consecutive weekends.

The TRS has become the launching pad for young open-wheel drivers to start their respective seasons in bigger series including the European Formula 3 Championship.

Norris’ double act sees him join illustrious company.

He has emulated Kiwis Mitch Evans (2011) and Nick Cassidy (2012, 2013) and Canadian Lance Stroll last year to win the big double in recent years.

Earlier Norris finished fourth in the middle heat behind Kiwi Brendon Leitch which ensured he went into the signature Grand Prix with the title in the bag.

In the opening race, Habsburg completed a stunning win after coming from fifth on the grid.

Habsburg beat Christchurch’s James Munro with Norris all but ensuring his title victory by third.

Result: New Zealand Grand Prix- top 10

1, L Norris (England; 2, A Markelov (Russia); 3, F Habsburg (Austria); 4, James Munro (Christchurch);

5, T Randle (Australia); 6, T Cockerton (Pukekohe); 7, J Daruvala (India); 8, K LaLiberte (Canada); 9, B

Baptista (Brazil); 10, B Leitch (Invercargill).

Final TRS points

1, Norris, 924; 2, Daruvala, 792; 3, Leitch, 757; 4, Habsburg, 727; 5, Piquet, 712;

6, Guanyu Zhou (China) 687; 7, Markelov, 630; 8, Munro, 621; 9, Cockerton, 549.

 

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