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Munro Makes Eyecatching TRS Debut

Munro Makes Eyecatching TRS Debut

Luck was certainly not on his shoulder but young Christchurch racing driver James Munro showed that he will be a very real force when he made his debut in the fiercely competitive Toyota Racing Series at Teretonga near Invercargill this weekend.

Munro, in just his second season of motor racing after winning the NZ Formula Ford Championship last season, struck problems in qualifying when an electrical issue caused fuel pressure problems limiting him to just two laps. That consigned the sixteen-year-old Christs College student to the back of the grid for the opening race of the weekend on Saturday. That could have destroyed his weekend but Munro made light of the situation in the first race coming through the twenty-three car field into 10th place, revised to 11th when the race was stopped, but a stunning debut in the ultra-competitive international class.

That result improved his grid position for Sunday morning's race which was run on a very wet track. Sadly the number of incidents in the race meant much of the contest was run under safety car conditions limiting opportunities to advance but Munro secured seventh place in the talented field.

James was again at the back of the grid for the feature race of the weekend over 20 laps in dry conditions on Sunday afternoon. Once again he made stunning progress, quickly climbing into the top ten. Unfortunately safety cars interrupted the race again and James was caught in a melee just prior to a restart when the field concertinaed, damaging the D J Hewitt Builders TRS car and ending his race. .

However, there were plenty of positives from the weekend. The Toyota Racing Series is a massive step up in competition from Formula Ford and the cars are considered difficult to make passing moves in. However in each race Munro charged through the traffic with ease. "It is all about making use of every opportunity," explained James at the conclusion of the weekend. "You have to get through as fast as you can." Summing up the weekend Munro said, "I was very disappointed with the electrical problem in qualifying but we salvaged the weekend quite well. It is a shame that we lost points in the last race." James also enjoyed racing in the rain. "I enjoyed the wet, I was hoping it would carry on raining. I didn't get the best start and we didn't get many racing laps but I had good pace in the wet and could have run up the front."

After such a great debut Munro is now looking forward to Round 2 of the series at Timaru International Motor Raceway next weekend.


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