Gales force cancellation at Teretonga

High winds forced the cancellation of the final two races in the Toyota Racing Series in Invercargill yesterday.

Gale-force winds made circuit conditions unsafe for the high-speed formula TRS cars at Teretonga Park and, after consultation with teams and drivers, the decision was made to can the races.

Average winds of 65kmh  and gusts of 100kmh-plus caused significant damage at the track late on Saturday afternoon and evening,  and the winds were predicted to increase yesterday. The decision was not made lightly but the predicted wind speeds and gusts, combined with the high-speed nature of the coastal track, could have compromised the downforce of the 500kg machines and  put driver safety and the safety of others at an unacceptable level of risk, organisers said.

In accordance with the championship articles, the remaining races have been rescheduled.

Race two, which was due to  be held yesterday morning, will be run at the Hampton Downs meeting next week and race three qualifying and the race will be run at Taupo Motorsport Park the following week.

In what turned out to be the only race of the series at Teretonga, Marcus Armstrong took his first win of the season, with a thrilling victory over title rival and countryman Liam Lawson.  The New Zealanders are now tied on points.After a poor start, Lawson fought back from third place and spent the majority of the race closing down Armstrong.

A safety car on lap 12, when Romanian Petru Florescu dropped his car into the sand trap at the Castrol complex, bunched the field together.  Armstrong, from Christchurch, held his nerve and his form to win as Lawson made a slight error on the last lap which left him too much to do to win. Raoul Hyman looked odds-on for a podium after a remarkable drive from 11th  on the grid but ran out of road trying to pass Artem Petrov on the last corner, leaving the impressive Russian third at the flag.

In the Toyota 86 Championship series, Jordan Baldwin, of Auckland, won the first race on Saturday for his first win of the series. The two remaining races were also abandoned yesterday.

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