Home Formula RegionalFRegional Oceania Yuki Tsunoda wins Toyota Racing Series race two at Highlands

Yuki Tsunoda wins Toyota Racing Series race two at Highlands

by Ida Wood

Photo: Bruce Jenkins / Toyota Gazoo Racing NZ

Honda and Red Bull junior Yuki Tsunoda won the second Toyota Racing Series race of the season at Highlands Motorsport Park.

The M2 Competition driver beat reversed grid poleman Oliver Rasmussen off the line and stretched out a lead of nearly two seconds in the first half of the race, before letting his MTEC Motorsport by R-ace GP rival close in again in the second half.

Tsunoda upped his pace again on the last lap, crossing the finish line with a 1.012 second advantage.

“We had rally bad qualifying. I just focused on the races,” said Tsunoda.

“My start was really good and I passed Rasmussen. I felt confident in my pace, especially in the first half of the race. Rasmussen was quite fast in the second half but I just trusted my car and my engineer.

“Everything is new, new car, new circuit especially. I’m really struggling to adapt to the car.”

Giles Motorsport’s Lirim Zendeli passed team-mate Gregoire Saucy at the start and finished a lonely third, with the latter having the fast-starting race one winner Liam Lawson in his mirrors all race.

Lawson started sixth but immediately passed his M2 team-mate Igor Fraga, but the narrow circuit layout made it difficult to put a move on Saucy. His championship lead remains at four points, with Zendeli now his closest rival.

Caio Collet, who won the first race on the road before a post-race penalty for a start infringement, brushed a wall at the end of the opening lap and pitted to retire shortly after. He’s now ninth in the points.


Race results
Pos Name Team Time
1 Yuki Tsunoda M2 Competition 15 laps
2 Oliver Rasmussen MTEC by R-ace GP +1.012s
3 Lirim Zendeli Giles Motorsport +2.220s
4 Gregoire Saucy Giles Motorsport +4.524s
5 Liam Lawson M2 Competition +5.082s
6 Igor Fraga M2 Competition +6.016s
7 Franco Colapinto Kiwi Motorsport +7.486s
8 Petr Ptacek MTEC by R-ace GP +11.613s
9 Jackson Walls MTEC by R-ace GP +12.617s
10 Emilien Denner M2 Competition +13.972s
11 Ido Cohen M2 Competition +14.453s
12 Spike Kohlbecker Kiwi Motorsport +20.191s
13 Lucas Petersson MTEC by R-ace GP +21.541s
14 Rui Andrade M2 Competition +25.022s
15 Jose Blanco-Chock Kiwi Motorsport +26.394s
16 Axel Gnos Kiwi Motorsport +41.509s
17 Chelsea Herbert Giles Motorsport +42.379s
18 Henning Enqvist Giles Motorsport +42.759s
Ret Caio Collet MTEC by R-ace GP
DNS Amaury Cordeel Kiwi Motorsport
Fastest lap: Rasmussen, 1m29.313s

Championship standings
1 Lawson 47? ?2 Zendeli 43? ?3 Tsunoda 42? ?4 Fraga 41? ?5 Saucy 38? ?6 Rasmussen 38? ?7 Ptacek 24? ?8 Colapinto 23? ?9 Collet 18 ? 10 Cohen 17