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Das takes first TRS win at Manfeild, Lawson extends points lead

by Bethonie Waring

Cameron Das picked up his first Toyota Racing Series win at Manfeild, as M2 Competition team-mate Liam Lawson extended his points lead going into the title-deciding New Zealand Grand Prix.

Lawon and title rival Marcus Armstrong started the reversed grid race in seventh and eighth, and Armstrong was briefly able to get alongside Lawson on the opening lap but wasn?t able to mount a serious challenge until after a mid-race safety car and red flag period.

Lawson was trying to find a way past Brendon Leitch, putting him off line and allowing Armstrong to move into fifth. The positions swapped back just a few corners later, though, when Armstrong also tried to challenge Leitch, giving Lawson the room he needed to retake the position.

Armstrong stayed on his title rival?s tail for the remainder of the race, but didn?t get another opportunity to challenge and had to settle for sixth. He now lies three points behind Lawson heading into the final race of the season.

At the front of the field, Das made a strong start to pass poleman Petru Florescu off the line. The American built a gap back to the rest of the field as Esteban Muth and Lucas Auer battled for the remaining podium places.

He took the chequered flag 1.8 seconds ahead of Auer, who snatched second from Muth on the restart after the red flags were brought out when Florescu ran into the tyres at high speed at the final corner.

Leitch resisted pressure from both championship contenders to take fourth, a potentially influential drive in the outcome of the title, while Raoul Hyman led?Calan Williams, Thomas Smth and Brendon Locke hope to complete the top 10.

A last lap crash between Dev Gore and Jackson Walls meant Kenny Smith finished 12th, matching his best result from his 2018 TRS cameo.


Race results (15 laps)
Pos Name Team Time
1 Cameron Das M2 Competition 19m08.479s
2 Lucas Auer M2 Competition +1.872s
3 Esteban Muth M2 Competition +2.605
4 Brendon Leitch Victory Motor Racing +5.952s
5 Liam Lawson M2 Competition +6.163s
6 Marcus Armstrong M2 Competition +6.664s
7 Raoul Hyman Giles Motorsport +7.540s
8 Calan Williams MTEC Motorsport +7.818s
9 Thomas Smith Giles Motorsport +10.134s
10 Kazuto Kotaka MTEC Motorsport +12.540s
11 Parker Locke Victory Motor Racing +13.163s
12 Kenny Smith Giles Motorsport +17.221s
13 Petr Ptacek Giles Motorsport +17.576s
14 Dev Gore Giles Motorsport +1 lap
15 Jackson Walls MTEC Motorsport +1 lap
Ret Petru Florescu MTEC Motorsport
Fastest lap: Das, 1m04.210s

Championship standings
1?Lawson 321? ?2?Armstrong 318? ?3 Auer 270? ?4?Hyman 245? ?5?Muth 236? ?6?Leitch 225? ?7?Das 205? ?8?Williams 182? ?9 Artem Petrov 181 ??10?Kotaka 149