Home Featured Maisano and Maini top qualifying again for TRS finale

Maisano and Maini top qualifying again for TRS finale

by Peter Allen
Arjun Maini

Photo: Toyota Racing NZ

Brandon Maisano and Arjun Maini shared the qualifying spoils at a third consecutive Toyota Racing Series round at Manfeild to keep the pressure on points leader Lance Stroll.

Maisano claimed his fourth pole position of the campaign in the first session to set the grid for Saturday’s opening race.

Maini was the early pace-setter and moved back up the order to second place just before a red flag with two minutes remaining when Sergio Sette Camara went off.

That demoted Sam MacLeod and Stroll, who set identical times and will share row two of the grid.

Fresh from the announcement of his Red Bull Junior Team place on Thursday, Callum Ilott took P5 ahead of GP2 racer Artem Markelov. Camara held onto seventh ahead of Santino Ferrucci and Damon Leitch, while GP3/FR3.5 dual campaigner Alfonso Celis was tenth.

Session two befell a similar fate to the first with a late red flag, this time triggered by Nikita Mazepin.

With no improvements after the restart, Maini wound up with pole position for the season finale, the New Zealand Grand Prix, after earlier moving ahead of MacLeod by a mere six thousandths of a second.

After missing the opening session as his reliability woes seemingly continued, Matteo Ferrer bounced back to claim P3 just before the red flag. Maisano edged out his team-mate Stroll for fourth, with Charlie Eastwood making it four M2 drivers in the top six.

Stefan Riener was seventh ahead of Thomas Randle, with Ferrucci and Camara rounding out the top ten.

With 75 points available from each of the remaining three races, Stroll has an 85-point lead over Maini, and is 102 ahead of Maisano.

Qualifying results
Qualifying 1 – Race 1 grid ? Qualifying 2 – Race 3 grid
Pos. Driver Team Time Pos. Driver Team Time
1 Brandon Maisano M2 Competition 1:02.502 1 Arjun Maini M2 Competition 1:02.343
2 Arjun Maini M2 Competition 1:02.598 2 Sam MacLeod Giles Motorsport 1:02.349
3 Sam MacLeod Giles Motorsport 1:02.723 3 Matteo Ferrer ETEC Motorsport 1:02.622
4 Lance Stroll M2 Competition 1:02.723 4 Brandon Maisano M2 Competition 1:02.661
5 Callum Ilott ETEC Motorsport 1:02.809 5 Lance Stroll M2 Competition 1:02.695
6 Artem Markelov Giles Motorsport 1:03.018 6 Charlie Eastwood M2 Competition 1:02.742
7 Sergio Sette Camara Giles Motorsport 1:03.022 7 Stefan Riener Victory Motor Racing 1:02.749
8 Santino Ferrucci Giles Motorsport 1:03.050 8 Thomas Randle ETEC Motorsport 1:02.794
9 Damon Leitch Victory Motor Racing 1:03.107 9 Santino Ferrucci Giles Motorsport 1:02.876
10 Alfonso Celis Giles Motorsport 1:03.110 10 Sergio Sette Camara Giles Motorsport 1:02.912
11 Thomas Randle ETEC Motorsport 1:03.115 11 Nikita Mazepin ETEC Motorsport 1:02.941
12 Charlie Eastwood M2 Competition 1:03.155 12 Ferdinand Habsburg Victory Motor Racing 1:02.941
13 Mathias Kristensen M2 Competition 1:03.200 13 James Munro Giles Motorsport 1:02.947
14 James Munro Giles Motorsport 1:03.258 14 Brendon Leitch Victory Motor Racing 1:02.949
15 Stefan Riener Victory Motor Racing 1:03.283 15 Artem Markelov Giles Motorsport 1:02.958
16 Nikita Mazepin ETEC Motorsport 1:03.381 16 Callum Ilott ETEC Motorsport 1:02.965
17 Ferdinand Habsburg Victory Motor Racing 1:03.393 17 Mathias Kristensen M2 Competition 1:03.053
18 Brendon Leitch Victory Motor Racing 1:03.423 18 Alfonso Celis Giles Motorsport 1:03.280
19 Jamie Conroy M2 Competition 1:04.005 19 Damon Leitch Victory Motor Racing 1:03.292
20 Matteo Ferrer ETEC Motorsport No time 20 Jamie Conroy M2 Competition 1:03.454