One more win for Earl

AutoTrader NZ
Published 3 September 2020

Earl Bamber continued his strong mid-season form to win a dramatic Toyota Racing Series race at Taupo this evening.

The Wanganui teenager, who won the Lady Wigram Trophy Race at Ruapuna and spreadeagled the field in the second TRS race at Manfeild, led home Michael Burdett in Today’s event, winning by a fraction over two seconds.

Burdett set the race’s fastest lap, 1m 25.971s.

TRS series leader and 2008 NZ Grand Prix winner, Andy Knight, was third, a further 1.1 seconds behind.

The drama began at the start when pole-winner Dominic Storey stalled on the grid and was relegated to the back of the field. He fought his way through to a ninth place finish.

That placing was helped by an early race incident in which former A1GP racer Matt Halliday speared off the track, then regained it, hitting Christina Orr’s car and sending it into Daynom Templeman’s. The incident is under inquiry.

Halliday says the throttle on his Tatuus-Toyota had jammed open. That made him virtually a passenger in the car.
Halliday lost his international series lead when he didn’t finish the race. The international series runs as part of the overall TRS, over three rounds at Ruapuna (the Wigram meeting), Manfeild (NZ GP meeting) and Taupo.

There was further drama when race leader Ben Harford, in front by a good margin and seemingly en route to a comfortable victory, spun.

He recovered to finish 10th. Harford had won yesterday’s opening TRS race at Taupo.

Speedway Midget Car ace, Michael Pickens, finished 13th in today’s TRS race. Pickens is racing in the Toyota series to gain sealed surface racing experience as he embarks on a career of dirt and pavement speedway racing in the United States.

Photo captions:

Race winner Earl Bamber.

Ben Harford spins out of the TRS race lead.