Ferdinand Habsburg experienced the full range of motorsport high and lows in the second round of the Toyota Racing Series at Teretonga Park, New Zealand.
The 19-year-old came into the weekend hoping to build on three consistent points finishes at Ruapuna Park in round one, but was left disappointed after losing good results to bad luck in races two and three.
Times were exceptionally close in qualifying and showed the high calibre of this year’s TRS field. Now fully up to speed with his new M2 Competition team, Habsburg would start fifth for race one after qualifying within two tenths of pole, while Q2 was even tighter, just 0.07s from pole in fourth.
There was little by way of action in race one, but Habsburg kept himself out of trouble and advanced to fourth, which had drawn the reversed-grid ballot for race two.
After just missing out on the reversed-grid pole at Ruapuna, it appeared that the Austrian’s luck was taking a turn for the better, but it wasn’t to be.
Shortly after the start, contact between Brendon Leitch and Enaam Ahmed left Habsburg with nowhere to go at the start and resulted in his first DNF of the campaign.
However, with a wet race three still to come, Habsburg was confident of ending the weekend on a high and taking home the Spirit of a Nation trophy. With his car now repaired, he took third on lap one and set about challenging Richard Verschoor for the lead after Thomas Randle fell by the wayside.
It seemed only a matter of time before Habsburg pounced, but hopes of a third TRS victory were dashed when he was caught out by the tricky conditions and dropped to 18th.
After his frustrating end to the weekend, the Austrian driver is now looking ahead to round three of the TRS at Hampton Downs Motorsport Park (January 28-29), where he hopes to get his championship campaign back on track.
“What to say – the job of a racing driver is to be fast and not to crash I did 50% of the job,” Habsburg commented. “The car felt was amazing and I absolutely on fire in the rain, catching the leader quickly. I just wasn’t patient, which is not a good mixture. Kudos to the team for the job they did, unfortunately I let them down in the end, but it’s not over. I am confident with the car now and will be focused on bringing in consistency for the final three rounds. The good thing is everybody knows what we are capable of now, so onwards and upwards!”