Armstrong wins NZ Motor Cup, regains series lead

New Zealander Marcus Armstrong adds his name to the New Zealand Motor Cup. Photo: Bruce Jenkins
New Zealander Marcus Armstrong adds his name to the New Zealand Motor Cup. Photo: Bruce Jenkins
Marcus Armstrong yesterday added his name to New Zealand’s most famous motorsport cup, and has the title lead back with two race weekends to go in the Castrol Toyota Racing Series.

The Ferrari Junior driver did not put a foot wrong throughout the 25-lap New Zealand Motor Cup race, making a perfect getaway and controlling the race from the front throughout, even after a race stoppage when fellow New Zealander Liam Lawson crashed out.

He did come under some pressure towards the end when Russian Artem Petrov put in a series of blistering laps to halve the gap between himself and the leader, but it was Armstrong’s name added to a trophy first presented back in 1922.

With a hint of rain in the air, the field of 16 took the start and Armstrong was away and gone immediately, timing his start to perfection. Across the line for the first time it was Armstrong from Lucas Auer, Lawson, Petrov, Brendon Leitch and Cameron Das, with the rest of the field close behind.

As the race progressed Armstrong continued to stretch his lead.

"It wasn’t easy conditions," he said after the race.

"I’m keen to see the replay of [the] Lucas and Liam [crash], because maybe it was related to the weather. It was a little bit slippery at some points.

"The race, however, was nicely manageable and I enjoyed it. I think Artem was coming at me with a great rate of pace, fair play to him. I just wanted to keep it on the black stuff and not bin it. This is one of the trophies I’ve really wanted, so I’m glad to have my name on it now."

Cameron Das took a fine third place and Brendon Leitch fourth. Esteban Muth was fifth.

The series now heads to the Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park, Taupo next weekend for the penultimate round of the championship.

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