Giles Motorsport's Richard Verschoor, a series rookie, has continued his charge in the 2017 Castrol Toyota Racing Series after another consistent point-scoring day at Teretonga Park in Invercargill that ended with a race win.

The 16-year-old finished second in the first of the day's races to second-generation racer Pedro Piquet, then won the afternoon feature race comfortably despite starting from fifth place on the grid.

"I didn't expect to win - or to be on the podium even," Verschoor said to

"We knew our pace was good in the rain, but if you come from fifth and you're behind then you get the spray and it's always harder."


Despite his grid position and terrible weather conditions​, Verschoor roared into second place by turn one thanks to a quick start. He then gained the race lead after former leader Thomas Randle made a mistake at the final corner.

"I'm not sure exactly what happened, but for sure he was under pressure," added Verschoor.

For the Red Bull Junior driver, a championship victory on New Zealand soil wasn't the goal leading up to the series. But after two rounds he now has a dominant championship lead of 58 points over Thomas Randle heading into the third round next weekend.

"Of course, my aim for myself is always to win - I'm not happy with second or lower. But the main reason we came here was to learn because we knew there were some really experienced drivers," he said.

"I really really enjoy these tracks, and the car. The tracks are quite similar to Dutch tracks actually. I really like small tracks where there are a lot of corners, and the car behaves well on the tracks. It has quite a bit of downforce compared to what I'm used to."

New Zealand's leading hope for the day was local driver Brendon Leitch. But despite starting in third and first respectively for the two races, luck wouldn't be on the ITM driver's side.

His opening race ended before the opening corner, after he and two other drivers - Ferdinand Habsburg and Enaam Ahmed - crashed out in the braking zone while three-wide.

Then in the feature race Leitch didn't have the pace to keep up with the leading group. He eventually ended up finishing seventh.

The remaining two New Zealanders, Marcus Armstrong and Taylor Cockerton, enjoyed relatively quiet and consistent days to finish fourth and fifth in race two, then fourth and ninth in the weekend finale.

The three Kiwis; Armstrong, Cockerton, and Leitch are nose to tail in the title race as well - poised in fifth, sixth, and seventh.

The series now travels north to Hampton Downs in Waikato for round three of the season, with the iconic New Zealand Motor Cup up for grabs.

Race two
1. Pedro Piquet
2. Richard Verschoor
3. Thomas Randle
4. Marcus Armstrong
5. Taylor Cockerton
6. Kami Laliberte
7. Jehan Daruvala
8. Keyvan Andres
9. Christian Hahn
10. Luis Leeds

Race three (Spirit of a Nation Cup)
1. Richard Verschoor
2. Jehan Daruvala
3. Thomas Randle
4. Marcus Armstrong
5. Pedro Piquet
6. Kami Laliberte
7. Brendon Leitch
8. Enaam Ahmed
9. Taylor Cockerton
10. Christian Hahn

Championship points
1. Richard Verschoor 398
2. Thomas Randle 340
3. Pedro Piquet 307
4. Jehan Daruvala 287
5. Marcus Armstrong 265
6. Taylor Cockerton 263
7. Brendon Leitch 232
8. Kami Lalibert
9. Enaam Ahmed 212
10. Ferdinand Habsburg 208