Verschoor takes New Zealand Motor Cup

Richard Verschoor pic: Bruce Jenkins

Richard Verschoor has picked up the New Zealand Motor Cup with his second race win of Round 3 of the Castrol Toyota Racing Series at Hampton Downs.

Verschoor (Netherlands) had qualified on pole for the feature race and while Marcus Armstrong (Christchurch) appeared to get the better start it was not good enough to take the lead.

Richard Verschoor with the New Zealand Motor Cup pic: Bruce Jenkins

Verschoor, who also won Race 1, got out to a 1.5s lead when Brendon Leitch (Invercargill) ran off the sweeper at the start of the main straight on Lap 13, and found the wall.

While Leitch, whose accident was caused by his front wing falling off, got himself out of car #86, a red flag was called to allow for the recovery.

The race restarted with seven of 25 laps remaining, at which time the top two jumped clear of the rest.

Armstrong applied pressure on Verschoor at the end but couldn’t get past his M2 Competition team-mate.

The 2017 Italian Formula 4 champion nevertheless extended his series lead by finishing a position ahead of Robert Shwartzman (Russia).

Shwartzman had made life hard for himself with a late error which allowed Juan Manuel Correa (United States) to close right up, but held on to third place in the end.

Behind Correa, James Pull (Great Britain) rounded out the top five, while Clement Novalak (Great Britain) was ninth after running half off the track on Lap 2.

Earlier, Novalak claimed Race 2, his second race win of the season.

Reid Harker (Auckland) had started from first position but was swamped off the line and eventually finished ninth in the 20-lapper.

Round 4 of 5 will be held at Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park (Taupo) next weekend (February 1-4).

Castrol Toyota Racing Series, Round 3, Hampton Downs, Race 2, 20 laps (Top 10)

1, C Novalak (England);
2, R Shwartzman (Russia);
3, M Armstrong (Christchurch);
4, J-M Correa (USA);
5, R Verschoor (Netherlands);
6, B Leitch (Invercargill);
7, J Pull (England);
8, T Cockerton (Pukekohe);
9, R Harker (Albany);
10, R Yardley (Christchurch)

New Zealand Motor Cup, 25 laps (Top 10)

1, Verschoor;
2, Armstrong;
3, Shwartzman;
4, Correa;
5, Pull;
6, C Milesi (France);
7, Harker;
8, C Das (USA);
9, Novalak;
10, Cockerton

Series points (Top 10)

1, Armstrong, 591;
2, Shwartzman, 550;
3, Verschoor, 521;
4, Novalak, 470;
5, Correa, 447;
6, Pull, 433;
7, Cockerton, 331;
8, Harker, 327;
9, Ming, 317;
10, Leitch, 293.

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