The penultimate round of the Toyota Racing Series season, held at the Bruce McLaren Motorsports Park in Taupo, has finished with wins for Juan Manuel Correa, Brendon Leitch and Robert Shwartzmann, respectively. The Russian and the New Zealander take their first wins this season and the fight for the title is wide open with just one round to go.
On the first race, Juan Manuel Correa dominated from lights to flag and took his second win this season. The American driver had to push harder since the beggining as he was investigated for a possible jump start, which was proved he had not done and no penalty was given to him.
Behind Correa, Richard Verschoor started in front row, but he was overtaken on the first corner by James Pull, who ended up taking second place on the race with the Dutchman on third place. Robert Shwartzmann finished in fourth position with championship leader Marcus Armstrong in fifth.
The second race of the weekend had the most unusual results. Brendon Leitch, who was yet to finish on the podium this season, took win ahead of Ryan Yardley, who finished second on which was also his first podium finish of the season. Verschoor took another third place and Armstrong and Shwartzmann switched their postions from Race 1, with the local driver in fourth place and the Russian in fifth.
Finally, the last race of the weekend had the most ‘normal’ results. Shwartzmann finally won his first race this season after six previous podium finishes. The Russian driver had to face his first ever SC restart leading the pack. The Safety Car was deployed when the race was restarted after a red flag caused by Clement Novalak.
Championship leader, Armstrong, saved the day on this race with a second place after a weak weekend. Verschoor finished, one more time, in third position, followed by Correa and Leicht.
With only three races to go until the end of this season, the fight for the title is very open after the races at the Bruce McLaren Motorsports Park. Armstrong is still leading the standings, with 761 points. But Shwartzmann has closed the gap this weekend to only 33 points. Verschoor is in third with 701 point so he could still join the battle, while drivers from fourth (Correa with 612), will have it more difficult.
And that is the end of the fourth round of the 2018 Toyota Racing Series season. The next one, the season ender held at Chris Amon Circuit, in Feilding; will be held next weekend, the 1oth and 11th of February.