Lucas Auer was once again the man to beat in the first race of the Toyota Racing Series round at Timaru, as he recorded a dominant lights-to-flag victory.
Auer started from pole and immediately began pulling away from the other front row starter, Nick Cassidy, culminating in a four second gap between the two by the end of the race. In third, Bruno Bonifacio kept the pressure on Cassidy for most of the race, finishing only half-a-second behind the reigning champion.
Steijn Schothorst passed local Damon Leitch for fourth, while Felix Serralles maintained sixth for the entire race. The top ten was completed by Alex Lynn, Pipo Derani, Nicholas Latifi and Jann Mardenborough.
Tanart Sathienthirakul held off Tatiana Calderon for 11th, while Andrew Tang repeated his personal best finish of 13th. Spike Goddard and Dennis Olsen completed the top 15 ahead of Michael Scott and Ryan Cullen.
After the race, Goddard, Olsen, Scott and Cullen would all get an additional place as Tang was penalized for a false start, with ten seconds added to his time.
The only major incident of the race took place on lap one, when Akash Nandy went off-track and damaged his car. Nandy managed to remain in the race but had to visit the pits and spent the remainder of the race a lap down from the leader.
The top six finishers will start in reverse order for the second race (as, once again, decided by random selection), which puts Serralles and Leitch on the front row for race two.
Race one results
|1||Lucas Auer||Giles Motorsport||14m39.699s||15|
|2||Nick Cassidy||M2 Competition||+4.051s||15|
|3||Bruno Bonifacio||Giles Motorsport||+4.574s||15|
|4||Steijn Schothorst||M2 Competition||+6.445s||15|
|5||Damon Leitch||Victory Motor Racing||+8.835s||15|
|6||Felix Serralles||Giles Motorsport||+9.604s||15|
|7||Alex Lynn||M2 Competition||+12.809s||15|
|8||Pipo Derani||Giles Motorsport||+13.328s||15|
|9||Nicholas Latifi||Giles Motorsport||+14.013s||15|
|10||Jann Mardenborough||ETEC Motorsport||+14.483s||15|
|11||Tanart Satienthirakul||ETEC Motorsport||+19.100s||15|
|12||Tatiana Calderon||ETEC Motorsport||+19.837s||15|
|13||Spike Goddard||M2 Competition||+23.451s||15|
|14||Dennis Olsen||M2 Competition||+26.557s||15|
|15||Michael Scott||Victory Motor Racing||+26.715s||15|
|16||Ryan Cullen||M2 Competition||+28.672s||15|
|17||Andrew Tang||ETEC Motorsport||+31.700s*||15|
|18||Akash Nandy||ETEC Motorsport||+1 lap||14|
* indicates a post-race time penalty