Richard Verschoor wins the New Zealand Motor Cup at Hampton Downs
The 17-year-old Dutchman started from pole on Sunday and withstood a very strong challenge from the Kiwi on the first corner, with the gap rarely more than half a second between them for the rest of the race. Russian Robert Shwartzman completed the podium.
But it was Verschoor who ended up with his hands on the most famous trophy in New Zealand motorsport, which has been won by legendary drivers such as Stirling Moss, Jack Brabham, Bruce McLaren, Jackie Stewart, Graham Hill, Chris Amon and Keke Rosberg. This year it doubled as the main race of the third round of the Castrol Toyota Racing Series.
“This was the one I wanted to win.”
Although he has now won four races to Armstrong’s two over the first nine races of the series, Verschoor is philosophical about his chances in the series, given he still trails the Christchurch driver by 70 points after failing to finish the Lady Wigram Trophy race during the first round.
“We’re getting good results. That’s all I can aim for,” he said.
Armstrong said he had very few opportunities to get past his Dutch rival.
“He made a mistake in turn five, but I couldn’t quite make the pass stick,” Armstrong said. “Maybe I would have been a bit more ambitious if there was more at stake.”
He said he did not intend to change his approach to the Toyota Racing Series at the final two rounds. He now leads second-placed Shwartzman by 41 points. The Russian trailed home over a second behind the leading pair and despite his runner-up position in the series is looking for more at the fourth round at Taupo next weekend.
“I’m getting annoyed with the seconds and thirds,” said the 18-year-old.
AT A GLANCE
Toyota Racing Series, Round 3, Hampton Downs, Race 2, 20 laps.
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
6. C Milesi (France)
8. C Das (USA)
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
Pictures: Bruce JenkinsTags: Castrol Toyota Racing Series, Hampton Downs, KNAF Talent First, M2 Competition, New Zealand Motor Cup, Toyota Racing Series