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Jan 21, 2014 - 05:48 PM
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ETEC's Toyota Racing Series Fortunes Take A Dive At Timaru
Posted by: newsla on Jan 21, 2014 - 05:46 PM
Sports Cars
ETEC's Toyota Racing Series Fortunes Take A Dive At Timaru


ETEC Motorsport experienced an unexpected dip in form and fortunes during the second round of the 2014 Toyota Racing Series (TRS) at Levels International Raceway, Timaru (16-19 January).

 

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The Auckland-based ETEC Motorsport team got its 2014 TRS campaign off to a solid start at Teretonga just over a week ago, but was unable to replicate the speed and consistency it showed when New Zealand’s premier single-seater category travelled 422km north to the tight, fast and challenging Timaru circuit.

Conditions were considerably warmer than those experienced in Invercargill one week earlier and Moscow-born Denis Korneev featured highly in Friday’s (17 January) first free practice session, clocking the fourth fastest time.

Unfortunately, the young Russian was unable to carry that raw speed through to qualifying. He languished in the mid-pack for the start of Saturday’s (18 January) opening encounter and was subsequently right in the thick of the action as a spectacular first-corner crash broke out.

The incident claimed the scalps of six drivers – including Korneev’s Croatian teammate Martin Kodric – and caused the race to be red-flagged while the hard-working marshals got to work on clearing the wreckages and debris.

Despite the disappointment of race one, Korneev went on to achieve ETEC’s best result of a trying weekend; eighth place in the 20-lap Timaru Herald Trophy feature race (Sunday 19 January) was some consolation.

Kodric was the quickest of the ETEC contenders over a single lap in qualifying but was prevented from realising his full potential in the races; two retirements and a 13th place were underwhelming for the ambitious 16-year old.

Jordan Oon also had a troubled weekend. Having scaled the winners’ rostrum at Teretonga, the 23-year old breached the top ten in the second race, which was punctuated by numerous Safety Car interventions, but could only muster 14th and 16th-place finishes in the other two contests.

The SMP Racing Academy-backed Matevos Isaakyan, meanwhile, was relegated to the back of the grid for causing a red flag in Q1, but pulled off a determined fightback through the field to finish race one in a respectable 12th position.

ETEC Motorsport team boss, Trevor Scheumack, said: “It has been a tough weekend for the entire team and of course it’s disappointing coming from such a strong outing at Teretonga. The drivers had their fair share of misfortune, with spins, grid penalties and on-track collisions putting them on the backfoot.

"However, that’s just racing and you have to learn from these experiences. Despite the underwhelming results, I remain optimistic and hopeful as we head south for the third round of the series at Highlands Motorsport Park. I’m certain we’ll see an upturn in fortunes there.”

The Toyota Racing Series (TRS) moves on to the new Highlands Motorsport Park near the township of Cromwell for the third round of the season (23-26 January).

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