NZ: TRS final round Saturday summary

COLLINS HOLDS LEAD FOR TOYOTA RACING SERIES FINALE Young drivers Andy Knight and Daniel Gaunt dominated the penultimate race of the inaugural Toyota Racing Series at the Placemakers V8 Supercar meeting at Pukekohe's Pukekohe Park Raceway today...

COLLINS HOLDS LEAD FOR TOYOTA RACING SERIES FINALE

Young drivers Andy Knight and Daniel Gaunt dominated the penultimate race of the inaugural Toyota Racing Series at the Placemakers V8 Supercar meeting at Pukekohe's Pukekohe Park Raceway today but it is long-time series leader Timaru driver Brent Collins who still holds a 49 point advantage going into the series finale tomorrow.

Auckland-based Gaunt had pole position for the first of two Toyota Racing Series' races during the Placemakers V8 International this weekend with Christchurch's Knight beside him on the front row of the grid. Aucklander Wade Cunningham was in third with series leader Collins in fourth.

Knight got away to a flying start, driving around the outside of Gaunt into the first corner, but Gaunt caught and passed Knight by the end of the first lap and kept his focus to hold the lead until the chequered flag. But officials judged Gaunt had jumped the start and he was penalised five seconds, dropping him to second and allowing Knight to take first place and maximum points.

Collins had moved up from fourth to third soon after the start, with Cunningham having dropped from third to fifth, so the 60 points for third place were a valuable contribution towards Collins being able to maintain a lead over Knight who now moves into second place in the points table.

Further down the field Ben Harford, who had set the fastest time during Friday morning's test session, had been unable to set a competitive qualifying time due to a minor mechanical issue and started from the back of the grid. Harford, who scored a break-through win at the previous round of the Toyota Racing Series at Manfeild, drove hard to make up eight places within four laps and held on for ninth at the chequered flag.

The Toyota Racing Series finishes with a 16-lap race as part of Sunday's Placemakers V8 International event at Pukekohe tomorrow. Gaunt is on pole again, courtesy of having set the fastest lap time during the first race. Harford will be beside Gaunt on the front row of the grid, with Knight in third, Brendon Hartley in fourth and Collins in fifth. At this stage, Collins needs to finish eleventh or better to win the title.

<pre> 2005 Toyota Racing Series -- Race One

Pos Driver              Hometown                Fastest Lap
1,  Andy Knight         Christchurch            55.723
2,  Daniel Gaunt        Auckland                55.584
3,  Brent Collins       Timaru                  56.042
4,  Chris Pither        Palmerston North        56.620
5,  Wade Cunningham     Auckland                55.620
6,  Tim Edgell          Auckland                56.164
7,  James Cressey       Auckland                56.064
8,  Brendon Hartley     Palmerston North        55.775
9,  Ben Harford         Wellington              55.692
10, Matthew Hamilton    Christchurch            56.667
11, Ken Smith           Auckland                56.365
12, Duane Spurdle       Auckland                57.230
13, Andrew Higgins      Auckland                56.997
14, Kim Crocker         Tauranga                57.297
15, Ben Crighton        Auckland                57.121
16, Fiona Hamilton      Christchurch            59.993
DNS Mark Munro          Christchurch

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About this article
Series Road racing
Drivers Wade Cunningham , Matthew Hamilton , Daniel Gaunt , Chris Pither , Brendon Hartley , Ben Crighton
Teams Toyota Racing