This weekend sees the fifth and final round of the 2017 Formula Masters Series take place at the Shanghai International Circuit in China. Pukekohe's Taylor Cockerton is currently second overall in the championship and with four races to complete is ready to claim the title.
At the penultimate round in Zhuhai at the end of July, Cockerton was able to close the gap to leader and rival driver Daniel Lu finishing all three races with two second placings and a fifth, giving him the round win and placing him just 16 points from the overall series lead.
This weekend's plan is simple says Cockerton.
"First and foremost the target is to beat him (Daniel Lu)", commented Cockerton. "I just need to win races as there is a maximum of 77 points on offer. I expect that it will come down to the last race of the season as it will be very close."
This will be Cockerton's first competitive weekend at the Shanghai Circuit. In preparation for the final round, he and his Cebu Pacific Air by Pinnacle Motorsport team conducted a one-day test at the circuit after the Zhuhai round.
"It helps a lot that we tested there as it is a very technical circuit," said Cockerton. "We had one day test and I'm confident I learnt the circuit pretty well."
"The season has gone really well considering everything. We are on target to where we wanted to be. The aim was to win the championships and we are in a position to do this."
The winner of the 2017 Formula Masters Series will receive $100,000 Euro prize fund that includes a seat in an Asian series that is affiliated with the Formula Masters Series.
"This would be massively helpful to secure a drive for next year in Asia," said Cockerton. "We have made that commitment to Asia as budget wise it is the best deal in town. There are a lot of emerging teams with good budgets and we want to be up here next season."
Drivers and teams face qualifying and three long and one short races over the weekend.