Back in February 2010, Auckland’s Mitch Evans, at the tender age of 15 years-old, turned pole position into a race win in the first competition outing for the Toyota Racing Series at Hampton Downs. It was the sixth running of New Zealand’s premier open-wheeler motorsport category in which Evans would go on to win the title by just three-points from Earl Bamber. Evans also claimed the international title which consisted of the first four rounds of the championship.
In qualifying, six of the 12-strong field posted 1:01 minute laps: Evans, Brazilian Lucas Foresti, Estonian Sten Pentus, Richie Stanaway, Daniel Jilesen, and Earl Bamber.
From start to finish, Evans owned the first race, Foresti an equally unchallenged second behind him lap after lap.
Both Alistair Wootton and Jamie McNee passed Kenny Smith, then as McNee lined up to pass Stefan Webling the two made contact, McNee ending up off the track and a lap later finding himself stranded in the middle of the track with no drive. His car was pushed off to safety by marshals as the race continued.
A challenge by fourth placed Richie Stanaway on Sten Pentus went wrong for both, the pair taking a right hand corner side by side but in the process allowing Earl Bamber through to take third place.
Stanaway emerged the winner of that battle to salvage fourth behind Bamber, while Pentus made sure of fifth overall. Andrew Waite had made a remarkable comeback from his startline stall and was sixth overall.
The new Toyota Racing Series – and outright – lap record at Hampton Downs was set by Richie Stanaway, a 1:02.201 on the final lap.
Kiwi Andrew Waite went on to win the second race of the round with Pentus taking the third.
Evans went on to race in GP3 (2011-12) winning the 2012 title, then GP2 (2013-16) and no competes in Formula E with the Panasonic Jaguar Racing team.
Toyota Racing Series – Race One
1/ Mitch Evans, Auckland
2/ Lucas Foresti, Brazil
3/ Earl Bamber, Wanganui
4/ Richie Stanaway, Tauranga
5/ Sten Pentus , Estonia
6/ Andrew Waite, Auckland
7/ Stefan Webling, Oakura
8/ Alastair Wootten, Auckland
9/ Ken Smith, Auckland