Home Formula RegionalFRegional Oceania Tijmen van der Helm tops Toyota Racing Series FP1 at Manfeild

Tijmen van der Helm tops Toyota Racing Series FP1 at Manfeild

by Bethonie Waring

Photo: Toyota Racing NZ

Kiwi Motorsport’s Tijmen van der Helm set the pace in the first free practice session for the Toyota Racing Series season finale at Manfeild.

It was MTEC Motorsport by R-ace GP’s Lucas Petersson who was fastest in the first half of the session, before a red flag paused running halfway through.

When the session resumed with 10 minutes on the clock, van der Helm quickly jumped up through the order with a series of fast laps.

The Dutch driver’s final efforts first put him just behind Petersson, by 0.046 seconds, and then put in laps that put him several tenths clear of the Swede, who failed to improve on his own best.

Giles Motorsport’s Lirim Zendeli rose up to third, with 0.071s covering himself and M2 Competition’s title rivals Liam Lawson and Igor Fraga.

Franco Colapinto was the first of the title contenders to be at the front, as the Kiwi Motorsport driver was in second place before the red flag interruption. He couldn’t find the same improvements as his chief rivals though and slipped to sixth, ahead of Yuki Tsunoda (M2) and Jackson Walls (MTEC)

Title outsider Gregoire Saucy was 10th fastest for Giles, with his one-off team-mate and circuit expert Kenny Smith back in 18th. The 78-year-old, contesting his 49th New Zealand Grand Prix this weekend, was less than two seconds off the pace.


Free practice results
Pos Name Team Time
1 Tijmen van der Helm Kiwi Motorsport 1m03.182s
2 Lucas Petersson MTEC by R-ace GP +0.390s
3 Lirim Zendeli Giles Motorsport +0.451s
4 Liam Lawson M2 Competition +0.454s
5 Igor Fraga M2 Competition +0.522s
6 Franco Colapinto Kiwi Motorsport +0.561s
7 Yuki Tsunoda M2 Competition +0.598s
8 Jackson Walls MTEC by R-ace GP +0.603s
9 Petr Ptacek MTEC by R-ace GP +0.609s
10 Gregoire Saucy Giles Motorsport +0.737s
11 Oliver Rasmussen MTEC by R-ace GP +0.823s
12 Spike Kohlbecker Kiwi Motorsport +0.876s
13 Caio Collet MTEC by R-ace GP +0.989s
14 Henning Enqvist Giles Motorsport +1.135s
15 Emilien Denner M2 Competition +1.167s
16 Axel Gnos Kiwi Motorsport +1.187s
17 Rui Andrade M2 Competition +1.340s
18 Kenny Smith Giles Motorsport +1.814s
19 Ido Cohen M2 Competition +2.121s