Lawson leaves field behind at Toyota Racing Series

Jared Lawson and his wife Kristy congratulate their son Liam (16) after he won his second of...
Jared Lawson and his wife Kristy congratulate their son Liam (16) after he won his second of three Toyota Racing Series races at Highlands Motorsport Park yesterday. Photo: Geoff Ridder
Her wonder-kid son, Liam, might have been making Kiwi motorsport magic on the Highlands Motorsport Park track, yet Kristy Lawson could only allow herself glances at the final Toyota Racing Series (TRS) race — where he annihilated the international field.

"I can’t watch. I know how hard he fights," the proud Pukekohe mother said yesterday.

Fight was operative word, as Lawson, who started in third in the 20-lap finale, systematically hunted down fellow New Zealand racer, Marcus Armstrong, of Christchurch. The 16-year-old then showed nerves and skill well beyond his age to pull off a daring passing manoeuvre on the wet Cromwell circuit.

Lawson described the 215hp, 550kg, Toyota-powered Tatuus FT-50 single seater — that is identical for all TRS drivers — as "scary" going into the pass.

"It was difficult. I had a few goes at Marcus in different places. That was the closest I had been.

"I had a run out of [corner] 14 and I knew — or I hoped — that there was going to be grip there around the outside and there was, so I just sent it round and hoped for the best and it worked.

"Massive thanks to M2 for giving me the car to do that," he said.

He went on to pass the race leader Austrian Lucas Auer and extend his lead out to 9.9secs — winning his second race of three, after victory in the TRS opener on Saturday.

Lawson has been racing internationally and returns to New Zealand from a dominant performance as a guest driver in the Asian Formula 3 Championship’s final round at Sepang, where he won all three races.

The Pukekohe rising star was in Europe last year contesting the highly-competitive German Formula 4 Championship, where he finished second to match his runner-up position in the Australian F4 in 2017.

Invercargill’s Brendon Letich won the second TRS race yesterday, while Chris Henderson, of Dunedin, won three out of four Open Sports Car Association (OSCA) races.

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