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Drysdale wins Suzuki race weekend at Taupo

Media release: Winger Suzuki Swift Sport Cup
For immediate release: Sunday 1 September 2013.

Drysdale wins Suzuki race weekend at Taupo

The weekend’s fourth round for the 2013 Winger Suzuki Swift Sport Cup was won by Palmerston North school boy Josh Drysdale, whose consistency edged out Takapau’s Sam Barry and series leader Shaun Lawrence at the Taupo Motorsport Park.

Winning yesterday’s opening race – his first ever in a car, Drysdale completed the weekend with a pair of seconds to add 102 points to his season tally. The Castrol Scholarship winner said the result came after his team had spent a lot of time testing at the 3.03km race circuit.

“The round win – wicked!” exclaimed Drysdale.

“The car was great all weekend although we lost fourth gear on the last couple laps of the final race- but hey that’s racing,” he added.

In contrast to yesterday’s pushing-and-shoving ten lapper, today’s two races were processional with the best race action saved for the last as the lead swapped continually. Swallowed at the line in the afternoon final, Drysdale said he just settled in to a position where he could challenge to regain the top spot. Doing that after the third lap it was instead a storming Lawrence who’d carved his way up from seventh to streak past for the chequered flag. The win added a further 35 points to his tally, putting a further two points between him and closest challenger Andrew Vincent from Karaka. Despite strong pace Vincent finished with successive fourth placings for the weekend.

“I couldn’t ask for anything more. Our goal was to maintain our lead – which we’ve improved and in this game every point counts. After an unfortunate incident in the first race that I got penalised for the gearbox broke in this morning’s race. I just managed to coast to the finish – so we were very lucky. First you have to finish to finish first,” said Lawrence.

Winning the morning’s reverse-grid race, Sam Barry was equally elated to have added quality points to his tally. Steering clear of any chance of confrontation he has improved his overall standing to be 26.5 behind Vincent. Drysdale now moves to fourth overall – continuing his run of being leading rookie.

Happy to see the whittled field of eight cars all return safely, series co-ordinator Paul Burborough says the depleted field came largely from drivers split between prior racing commitments.

“We missed Thomas Joyce and Campbell Christie this weekend – who would have added further pressure to the chase for points.  Although it was pure effort that elevated Josh (Drysdale) to his round win so all credit to him and his team for their efforts.

“It’s still too close to call at the top of the leaderboard and while Shaun Lawrence has slightly stretched his lead the difference is slender with six races and two more qualifying opportunities, to earn further points.”

Castrol New Zealand Marketing Manager Jayne McEwan was equally thrilled to see the driver they backed in to this year’s series come out on top: “Well done to Josh and the team at producing such a fantastic result. It’s great to see such top results for all their effort of late.”

The series now breaks for seven weeks and returns to the Hankook Super Series at the Hampton Downs weekend – 19 to 20 October.


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