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Lawson beats title rival Armstrong to race one pole at Manfeild

by Ida Wood

Toyota Racing Series leader Liam Lawson beat title rival and M2 Competition team-mate Marcus Armstrong to pole for the opening race of the Manfeild series finale.

Lawson led the times from early on in the session, and as temperatures rose the challenge from other drivers wiltered. Traffic hampered Armstrong on one or two occasions, and his best lap was almost a quarter of a second down.

“It’s a really good start to the weekend. The new tyre run we did yesterday [in free practice] was really strong as well, and today we worked really hard on the build up procedure,” said the poleman.

“That was bang on. I really felt the peak of the car on the first two push laps. I tried cooling down to improve, but the tyre was never there again, especially the rears.”

The surprise of the session was Calan Williams, the 2017 Australian Formula 3 champion going third fastest for MTEC Motorsport, albeit a further third of a second back. He was followed by Lucas Auer, who went against the trend in the heat and managed to go fourth fastest late on.

M2 drivers Cameron Das and Esteban Muth were fifth and sixth, with Victory Motor Racing’s Brendon Leitch going seventh fastest despite a high speed spin resulting from an off. MTEC duo Kazuto Kotaka and Jackson Walls followed, with Giles Motorsport’s Raoul Hyman completing the top 10.

The Giles team had a less than successful qualifying session, with team-mate Petr Ptacek managing 12th and Dev Gore and the returning 77-year-old Kenny Smith propping up the timesheet. Thomas Smith didn’t even set a time, having accumulated too many penalty points to take part in the session.


Qualifying results
Pos Name Team Time
1 Liam Lawson M2 Competition 1m02.411s
2 Marcus Armstrong M2 Competition +0.233s
3 Calan Williams MTEC Motorsport +0.557s
4 Lucas Auer M2 Competition +0.629s
5 Cameron Das M2 Competition +0.646s
6 Esteban Muth M2 Competition +0.745s
7 Brendon Leitch Victory Motor Racing +0.782s
8 Kazuto Kotaka MTEC Motorsport +0.806s
9 Jackson Walls MTEC Motorsport +0.969s
10 Raoul Hyman Giles Motorsport +1.015s
11 Petru Florescu MTEC Motorsport +1.141s
12 Petr Ptacek Giles Motorsport +1.180s
13 Artem Petrov M2 Competition +1.198s
14 Parker Locke Victory Motor Racing +1.228s
15 Dev Gore Giles Motorsport +1.810s
16 Kenny Smith Giles Motorsport +2.452s
17 Thomas Smith Giles Motorsport no time