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Serralles wins race three, takes standings lead

by Valentin Khorounzhiy

Felix Serralles took a lights-to-flag victory in race three of the opening Toyota Racing Series round at Teretonga, which allowed him into the lead of the standings.

The Puerto Rican started the race from pole and confidently drove to an easy win while most of the events of the race unfolded behind him.

For instance, it was Lucas Auer who made a crucial breakthrough from fifth on the grid to second, allowing himself to stay within five points of Serralles in the standings. The podium was completed by Steijn Schothorst, who converted a starting position on the second row into a crucial top three finish.

Brazilians Bruno Bonifacio and Pipo Derani completed the top five, while Damon Leitch only managed sixth after starting third. In seventh, Jann Mardenborough recorded his personal best result, as series champion Nick Cassidy, Akash Nandy and Nicholas Latifi completed the top ten.

Tatiana Calderon beat Tanart Sathienthirakul to eleventh while Andrew Tang stayed ahead of Ryan Cullen for thirteenth. Michael Scott rounded up the top 15 as Dennis Olsen finished last in sixteenth, after having to pit in and lose laps earlier in the race.

Alex Lynn went off early on at turn one, prompting a red flag period and seriously affecting his position in the standings. Another non-finisher was Spike Goddard.

With the first round out of five completed, Serralles leads the championship with 196 points. His lead is far from substantial as Auer is right behind with 191 points. Race two winner Derani is in third, with 169 points.

The next round of the season will take place at Timaru International on 18-20 January.

Race 3 results

Pos Driver Team Time/Gap Laps
1 Felix Serralles Giles Motorsport 15m28.566s 20
2 Lucas Auer Giles Motorsport +1.638s 20
3 Steijn Schothorst M2 Competition +2.063s 20
4 Bruno Bonifacio Giles Motorsport +5.104s 20
5 Pipo Derani Giles Motorsport +5.728s 20
6 Damon Leitch Victory Motor Racing +5.995s 20
7 Jann Mardenborough ETEC Motorsport +6.613s 20
8 Nick Cassidy M2 Competition +7.436s 20
9 Akash Nandy ETEC Motorsport +12.937s 20
10 Nicholas Latifi Giles Motorsport +12.977s 20
11 Tatiana Calderon ETEC Motorsport +13.314s 20
12 Tanart Satienthirakul ETEC Motorsport +14.414s 20
13 Andrew Tang ETEC Motorsport +19.633s 20
14 Ryan Cullen M2 Competition +29.759s 20
15 Michael Scott Victory Motor Racing +33.658s 20
16 Dennis Olsen M2 Competition +4 laps 16
DNF Spike Goddard M2 Competition +14 laps 6
DNF Alex Lynn M2 Competition +17 laps 3

Championship Standings

Pos Driver Team Pts
1 Felix Serralles Giles Motorsport 196
2 Lucas Auer Giles Motorsport 191
3 Pipo Derani Giles Motorsport 169
4 Nick Cassidy M2 Competition 160
5 Bruno Bonifacio Giles Motorsport 145
6 Steijn Schothorst M2 Competition 144
7 Alex Lynn M2 Competition 120
8 Damon Leitch Victory Motor Racing 117
9 Nicholas Latifi Giles Motorsport 108
10 Jann Mardenborough ETEC Motorsport 108
11 Tanart Satienthirakul ETEC Motorsport 92
12 Tatiana Calderon ETEC Motorsport 88
13 Akash Nandy ETEC Motorsport 86
14 Dennis Olsen M2 Competition 64
15 Michael Scott Victory Motor Racing 62
16 Andrew Tang ETEC Motorsport 60
17 Ryan Cullen M2 Competition 58
18 Spike Goddard M2 Competition 50