It has been a whirlwind week for Pukekohe’s Taylor Cockerton competing in the 2018 Castrol Toyota Racing Series as he now prepares for the third round at Hampton Downs in the north Waikato this weekend.
After competing in the opening TRS round in Christchurch ten days ago, the Waikato University student was soon on a plane to Malaysia for a one-day test in an Audi R8 LMS Cup car at the Sepang International Circuit. The test was part of the prize for winning the China-based 2017 Formula Masters Series. Having completed a successful day testing, he immediately returned home and headed to Invercargill for the second of five consecutive TRS rounds over the weekend and now sits eighth on the overall points table.
It was a tough weekend at the Invercargill circuit for Cockerton who missed Thursday’s practice due to travel. Having qualified outside the top ten on Saturday morning, Cockerton went on to finish 11th, 10th and 12th in the three races but is still within striking distance of the top five, sitting eighth overall on the drivers points table.
“It was a weekend to forget, most frustrating,” commented Cockerton. “Nothing went to plan!
“Missing Thursday testing meant we were playing catch up on Friday. I made a tiny error in the afternoon which then put us out for more (practice) sessions. However, I was confident going into qualifying but we weren’t ready. We were on the back foot for the rest of the weekend.
“The team has been really great so we actually made improvements even though the result don’t show. I have learnt from it, and will take the positives from it
Hampton Downs should be a lot better for us. It’s effectively my home circuit and we will start from a fresh page.
“Last weekend wasn’t a reflection of our pace. We have a good setup for Hampton Downs and I expect to be in the top five. I’m definitely more confident, so looking ahead and forward.”
Christchurch’s Marcus Armstrong is proving to be the most consistent driver of the series. He has extended his lead to 28 points over Russian Robert Shwartzman, with Dutchman Richard Verschoor another 47 points back. TRS drivers face qualifying and race 1 on Saturday with two more races on Sunday.