Ferdinand Habsburg scored a podium finish for the second consecutive weekend in the Toyota Racing series at the Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park in Taupo.
After the disappointment of a non-finish in race one, which compromised his grid position for the second, Habsburg showed resolve to bounce back and end the weekend on a high in race three.
Following his brilliant second place finish at Hampton Downs, the M2 Competition driver arrived at the 3.5 km Taupo circuit full of confidence, although the weekend didn’t get off to the best of starts.
Starting ninth for the opening race, the 19-year-old was an innocent victim in a first lap incident with two other cars, which put him out of the race.
This was doubly unfortunate as it meant Habsburg would start race two from the back of the grid, scuppering hopes of a good result.
However, hopes were high for race three, where the Denny Hulme Memorial Trophy was up for grabs.
Habsburg qualified a superb third, just 0.063 from pole and held position at the start before a safety car interrupted proceedings.
After the restart, the Austrian driver fought a spirited rear-guard action to hold off Thomas Randle and Pedro Piquet and secure his best-ever finish at the track, bettering his fourth place finish from last season.
“This was an amazing end to the weekend,” the elated Habsburg commented. “It was disappointing how the first two races panned out, but it feels great to get on the podium at the end of it and have something to show for all our hard work. It’s even better that I had to really fight for it, I was basically defending the whole race, so this is a really satisfying one for myself and the whole team, so a big thanks to them.”
As a result, Habsburg sits 10th in the Toyota Racing Series point standings, with one round to go next week (February 11-12) at the Circuit Chris Amon, Manfeild Park, where Habsburg won last year.
“I have very fond memories of Manfield Park of course,” he added. “I’m really looking forward to going back there and hopefully getting a first win of this season under my belt before coming back to Europe.”