Nick Cassidy became the latest champion of the Toyota Racing Series at Manfeild Autocourse yesterday.
Driving for Giles Motorsport, the Auckland native took five wins and 914 points on his way to the title, finishing ahead of Dutchman Hannes van Asseldonk (three wins, 738 points) and fellow Kiwi, Damon Leitch (one win, 633 points).
Cassidy becomes the sixth different champion in eight seasons of the competition, deposing Mitch Evans who claimed the series in both 2010 and 2011.
The 17-year-old finished the campaign by winning the New Zealand Grand Prix at the circuit based in Feilding, situated on the country’s northern island.
Van Asseldonk faced an uphill battle coming into the weekend, his retirement from the Sunday morning Sprint Race ensured Cassidy secured the title with one race to spare.
Cassidy later took the prestigious New Zealand Grand Prix, when initial race leader, Evans, fell out with engine difficulties. It marks an impressive start to the year for Cassidy, who is thought to be actively seeking opportunities in Europe.
It was disappointment Josh Hill who finished 4th in the standings with one victory (629 points). The Englishman held 3rd in the series going into the last day; however retirement from the main event saw Hill drop behind Leitch in the final reckoning. Fellow Briton Jordan King claimed 5th (591 points), also with a single race win.
Lucas Auer – nephew of former Grand Prix racer Gerhard Berger – was the top rookie, taking 6th overall (589 points) following two podiums amidst a run of eight consecutive top six finishes.