Ferdinand Habsburg has finished in second place in round three of the 2017 Toyota Racing Series, after a heroic climb from sixth on the grid in a twenty lap race at Hampton Downs in North Waikato, New Zealand.
The 19-year old arrived at Hampton Downs aiming for victory in the M2 Competition Toyota Tatuus FT-50, but extremely hot weather made track conditions very tricky for the 20 young drivers, who are considered the best up-coming single seater talent in the world.
Starting race one from sixth, Ferdinand got caught out among several other drivers at turn two on the opening lap. The track had broken up, creating a fine layer of gravel on the surface and so the red flag was displayed. Ferdinand had to pit for a new front wing. He emerged at the back of the pack after the safety car restart and, remaining focused and confident, began his come-back and climbed up to ninth from nineteenth with some fantastic moves along the way.
The reverse grid race two was quite uneventful but his second qualifying result placed Habsburg in sixth place for the start of the New Zealand Motor Cup.
In the main race, considered one of the most prestigious in New Zealand, Habsburg was on a mission. He demonstrated great race craft in passing championship-front-runners Richard Verschoor, Perdo Piquet and Jehan Daruvala on the outside of turn one to cross the line in second place.
“That was awesome,” commented Habsburg after the race.The car felt so good out there and I had so much confidence in it. If we hadn’t had bad luck in race one, I think we’d have had an incredible weekend. Taking second place is great but I need to be getting results like this in every race in order to climb further up the championship ranks. I made some mistakes this weekend but the support from my team eased the journey. Big thanks to Andrew, Max, Paul, Nick, Flex, Mark and of course the JCW.”
With his Hampton Downs points in the bag, Habsburg climbed two positions in the Toyota Racing Series points table to take him to eighth with two rounds and six races remaining. Round four takes place at Taupo on the 4-5 February.