Kiwi driver Marcus Armstrong has had to settle for second place in the German Formula 4 Championship.
The teenager was pipped for the title by Prema Racing teammate Juri Vips after the pair put it on the line in the final race of the season at Hockenheim.
Estonian Vips trailed Armstrong by two points going into the final round at the Hockenheimring but the young Kiwi had car trouble in qualifying, putting him midfield for the first race, and despite a spirited drive that saw him fight his way back to third in the points over the opening two races he was not able to wrest the title from Vips.
Armstrong started from pole in a tightly-fought third race but he a Vips tangled on the first lap, which saw both drivers lose spots. Russian Artem Petrov took the race win while Armstrong had to settle for second. Vips grabbed third to secure the championship by 4.5 points.
"I'm feeling a lot of emotions at the moment, and of course, not all of them are positive," Armstrong said. "I so much wanted to win, and I also think that could have been the case today. It would have been possible to come away with the title. It's so hard getting this close and yet not winning it.
"We had a big problem in qualifying, but for all that, we made the best of a very difficult situation," Armstrong said. This compounded his ability for a top result in the first two races, finishing tenth in both.
"On the other hand, I have to be satisfied, because it was my first season and we have been very successful. As I see it, we were the fastest in the whole field, even if we had problems this weekend. Unfortunately, we don't have the trophy that would have been well deserved."
Armstrong turns his attention back to the Italian Formula 4 Championship, which he leads. There are two rounds left in that series.