Home News Maini gets overdue first win amidst carnage

Maini gets overdue first win amidst carnage

by Valentin Khorounzhiy
Photo: Toyota Racing Series

Photo: Toyota Racing Series

M2 Competition’s Arjun Maini took his first victory of the Toyota Racing Series campaign in a chaotic opening race at Hampton Downs.

Maini, who had won a race at Teretonga on-track but lost it to a subsequent penalty, survived a race which featured three appearances by the red flag.

The win takes the Indian to just 13 points adrift of championship leader Lance Stroll, who was among the casualties of the race.

Fittingly, the race kicked off with a big pileup, triggered by Thomas Randle spinning out heading into the chicane on lap one. The subsequent collision involved Jamie Conroy, Alfonso Celis and Matteo Ferrer, leading to an early end of the day for the latter duo and a red flag.

At the restart, Maini successfully held off Sam MacLeod for the lead, while Stroll started putting pressure on teammate Charlie Eastwood in the fight for fifth. Eventually, the Ferrari junior collected the BRDC F4 graduate and was out of the race.

Another red flag followed and, after the restart, the field lost yet another car – MacLeod tried to find his way past Maini and came close, but ended up going out of the race.

With Brandon Maisano now his chief worry, Maini ramped up the pace, lapping much quicker than the rest of the field and establishing a solid lead.

The Indian looked set to cruise to the checkered flag, but would not get the opportunity, as Brendon Leitch crashed out of seventh place with four laps to go. That proved one red flag too many and the race was finally called.

As such, Maini celebrated the win, ahead of Maisano and Santino Ferrucci. Callum Ilott took his best finish in cars in fourth, while Damon Leitch picked up a 2015 personal best with fifth.

James Munro finished sixth, ahead of teammates Artem Markelov and Dzhon Simonyan, while Mathias Kristensen and Ferdinand Habsburg completed the top ten.

The marble draw has determined that the top four will be reversed for tomorrow’s race, handing pole to single-seater debutant Ilott.

Race results
Pos. Driver Team Time/Gap
1 Arjun Maini M2 Competition 11 laps in 12:33.853
2 Brandon Maisano M2 Competition +2.581
3 Santino Ferrucci Giles Motorsport +4.440
4 Callum Ilott ETEC Motorsport +5.619
5 Damon Leitch Victory Motor Racing +7.451
6 James Munro Giles Motorsport +7.987
7 Artem Markelov Giles Motorsport +9.667
8 Dzhon Simonyan Giles Motorsport +11.090
9 Mathias Kristensen M2 Competition +11.350
10 Ferdinand Habsburg Victory Motor Racing +12.204
11 Nikita Mazepin ETEC Motorsport +12.872
12 Charlie Eastwood M2 Competition +14.101
13 Stefan Riener Victory Motor Racing +20.307
Not classified
Jamie Conroy M2 Competition +4 laps
Sam MacLeod Giles Motorsport +5 laps
Lance Stroll M2 Competition +8 laps
Thomas Randle ETEC Motorsport +11 laps
Alfonso Celis Giles Motorsport +11 laps
Matteo Ferrer ETEC Motorsport +11 laps
DQ Brendon Leitch Victory Motor Racing