Esteban Muth takes first victory in Toyota Racing Series
Esteban Muth took a lights-to-flag Castrol Toyota Racing Series victory on Sunday morning in Taupo, with the championship battle heating up behind the Belgian driver.
Championship leader Liam Lawson started in fifth on the reverse grid, but had an outstanding start, pulling to the inside and moving up to third by the first corner.
His championship rival, Marcus Armstrong, started in last due to mechanical issues in race two, but was up to 14th by the first corner and was in P13 by the end of the first lap.
Muth led, closely challenged by Brendon Leitch and Liam Lawson, but the two were unable to convert their pressure into overtakes.
Further back, a thrilling multi-car battle emerged as Armstrong made his way through the field. The kiwi Ferrari Academy driver battled with Williams, and then Ptacek, and the field behind them began to bunch up. This led to five-, sometimes six-way battles, with Kazuto Kotaka, Calan Williams, Jackson Walls, and Parker Locke all involved in the chase, squabbling down the main straight and going three-wide through the first sequence of corners.
Muth was able to hold off the challenge from behind, and the top three finished the race as they had finished the first lap, with Leitch in second and Lawson in third.
Marcus Armstrong finished in P8.
Armstrong had held the championship lead into the weekend, but yesterday’s DNF and it’s effect on today’s starting grid have taken their toll, with Lawson now in the lead. Lawson provisionally leads on 251 points, while Armstrong has 238 points after today’s recovery drive.
Australian Calan Williams finished P9.
2019 Castrol Toyota Racing Series - Round 4 Taupo Race 3 Result
Brendon Leitch +0.247
Liam Lawson +0.693
Artem Petrov +2.075
Cameron Das +3.708
Raoul Hyman +5.488
Lucas Auer +6.614
Marcus Armstrong +7.272
Calan Williams (AUS) +18.051
Kazuto Kotaka +18.685