Motorsport: Armstrong taken out of title fight

By Dale Budge

New Zealand's Marcus Armstrong in action at Hampton Downs. Photo / Supplied
New Zealand's Marcus Armstrong in action at Hampton Downs. Photo / Supplied

A frustrated Marcus Armstrong cut a forlorn figure after yesterday's Toyota Racing Series feature race at Hampton Downs.

The 16-year-old New Zealander saw his championship chances go down the drain after he was knocked out of the New Zealand Motor Cup race by series leader Richard Verschoor.

Armstrong was in a battle towards the front of the congested field when Red Bull driver Verschoor slammed into the side of Armstrong's car, taking him out of the race.

Verschoor was handed a time penalty and finished 16th as a result but maintains his series lead heading to the penultimate round in Taupo.

Having won the Saturday sprint race Armstrong was fourth in the standings when the accident happened. Post-race a dejected Armstrong conceded his title fight was over however.

"I haven't seen the video yet but from my point of view - it was all bunched up going into turn four and so I bumped it down the outside - it worked because I braked on the racing line so I had more grip and went right around the outside of everyone," he told herald.co.nz.

"Then Verschoor - I am not sure if he was pushed into me or he just didn't have the patience - but he drilled me.

"If I had have pulled that off I would have been in fourth in the race."

Armstrong, who was given a scholarship at the prestigious Ferrari Driving Academy, has shown off plenty of his undoubted talent in this series so far - winning races at both Ruapuna and Hampton Downs. He was involved in an incident on the Sunday at Ruapuna, which proved costly but still remained in the championship fight until yesterday.

"I am always honest - I say I made a mistake - but that is one of those times when someone else was in the wrong," a frustrated Armstrong said.

- NZ Herald

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