Brit Lynn starts Toyota series with big flip

BENJAMIN CARRELL - PITSTOP DIARY
Last updated 05:00 18/01/2013

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Britain's Alex Lynn made a spectacular entry in the opening round of the 2013 Toyota Racing Series (TRS) at Teretonga Park in Invercargill last weekend.

Lynn hit a tyre barrier, flipped his Toyota and walked away unscathed. However, the damage to his car may have given his mechanics a headache.

Lynn joins 14 other internationals competing for the title as they use the Kiwi summer to prepare for their 2013 European campaigns. Puerto Rican Felix Serralles leads the series from Austrian Lucas Auer as they head to Timaru this weekend for the second round. The TRS champion, Kiwi Nick Cassidy, is fourth on the points table.

Toyota's investment in NZ motorsport is significant and could be described as the backbone of the summer series.

Its plan for having up to 20 race-prepared and road-registered Toyota GT86 rear-wheel-driven sports cars available for sale later in the year is well under way. It is envisaged these cars will be used for Targa and endurance racing, along with a proposed Toyota GT86 series.

Last weekend, the all-new V8 Camry NZV8 made a successful debut in the hands of driver Martin Short.

It won its first race and provided an impressive sight and sound for V8 fans. It will be seen in action this weekend in Timaru. Owner Richards Team Motorsport, from Paeroa, is building a second V8 Camry.

Christchurch's Michael Collins and James Munro continue their duel in the national Formula Ford Championship in Timaru this weekend. The two were locked in combat over the first four rounds of the South Island series before Christmas. This continued at Teretonga last weekend at the opening of the national round.

However, it is Southland's Brendon Leitch and Collins who lead the series equal on points.

Munro holds third spot, overall, and Christchurch's Tom Alexander is fourth.

The New Zealand Superbike champion, Australian Robbie Bugden, leads Feilding's Craig Shirriffs by 10 points as the series heads to Invercargill this weekend.

Christchurch rider Dennis Charlett, in his return to the superbike class, is in third place. Shirriffs pulled off a brave manoeuvre last weekend in Timaru, passing Bugden to win in the dying moments of the second race. Cantabrian John Ross leads the 600cc Supersport class.

A quality field of 46 Super Stocks will line up for the New Zealand Grand Prix at AmPro Tools Woodford Glen this weekend.

The competitors will be split into two qualifying groups on Friday night and will race for finals spots on Saturday.

Palmerston North's Shane Penn arrives with form on his side, having won last weekend's national championship in Nelson.

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Dale McKenzie and Thomas Stanaway, both of Nelson, were second and third. They will want to go one better in Canterbury.

After a smash fest at the national title, there are bound to be plenty of payback hits with names like Scott Miers, Craig Boote and Wayne Hemi sure to be among the action. Christchurch hope Malcolm Ngatai, who was fourth in Nelson, will be hopeful of a dominant performance on his home track.

Benjamin Carrell is the online editor of nzmotorracing.co.nz

- © Fairfax NZ News

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