Taylor Cockerton has moved into the top ten on the 2016 Toyota Racing Series points table after the second round was held at Teretonga Park, Invercargill over the weekend.
The Pukekohe teenager is making his debut in the five round championship which has attracted a large field of top international drivers. As well as ninth on the points table, Cockerton is the second fastest rookie behind UK’s Lando Norris who currently leads the series from Russian GP2 Series driver Artem Markelov.
“We’re thrilled to have finished all three races and moving into the top ten overall,” commented Cockerton. “We’ve been constant in our approach and strategy to earn points so there are a lot of positives heading into the final three rounds.”
Cockerton, who won the NZ Formula Ford title last season has made the step up to the faster TRS category with the ETEC Motorsport Team. With the five round series taking place over consecutive weekends the approach has been to learn, improve, gain points and get faster.
“Teretonga has been a real up and down weekend,” said Cockerton. “Everyone appears to have moved forward while I feel that we have stayed constant. It’s been a weekend of change with differing track conditions all the way through. The important thing is to finish every race and take as many points as possible, which we have achieved.”
The weekend presented drivers with both wet and drying conditions for the three race program. Lady Wigram Trophy winner Indian’s Jehan Daruvala won the opening race on Saturday afternoon while on Sunday Brazilian’s Pedro Piquet won the second race and series leader Lando Norris won the 20 lap feature race. Cockerton came away with 11th, 12th and 11th places. The TRS is a series where finishing every race is vital in order to maximise points for the overall championship.
After two rounds the series now heads to the North Island and the Hampton Downs circuit in the north Waikato, Cockerton’s favourite track.
“I’m looking forward to Hampton Downs, a track that I know the most so I expect to have more pace.
“It’s is a nice flowing circuit with a mixture of fast sweeping and cambered corners. It undulates and flows nicely so it is a track I have done a lot of laps and really enjoy.
“Teretonga is a fast track where you use a lot of the cars aero. This is something I am still getting to know whereas at Hampton Downs it is a short track with less requirement for a driver to utilise the cars aero.”
Drivers will again practice and test on the Thursday and Friday leading into the weekend which will comprise of qualifying and race one on Saturday, races two and three on Sunday.
Toyota Racing Series Points – after six of 15 races:
1, Norris, 380 points;
2, Markelov, 346;
3, Habsburg, 303;
4, Leitch, 300;
5, Zhou, 289;
6, Daruvala, 282;
7, Piquet, 271;
8, Ptak, 185;
9, Cockerton, 184;
10, DeFrancesco, 175.