Reflecting on the 2018 Castrol Toyota Racing Series held over five consecutive weekends, Taylor Cockerton is taking away some positive lessons learnt as he now focuses on the rest of the year.
Finishing a disappointing tenth overall in the series, Cockerton was upbeat about the final round, the New Zealand Grand Prix meeting at the Manfeild Circuit Chris Amon last weekend.
“It was a very difficult round,” commented Cockerton. “More so luck wise, as we had very good pace early in practice but not in the racing.”
The Waikato University student finished 10th in the both the first two races and then retired out of the NZ Grand Prix with just five laps remaining due to an overheating engine.
“In the last race we were doing OK but then the engine got too hot and went into ‘limp-mode’. We were behind Reid (Harker) for 30 laps and the engine just didn’t get enough cool air on what was a hot afternoon.
“I thought I had run out of fuel at first.”
Undeterred by his results, Cockerton has taken the lessons learnt on-board.
“I have learnt a lot of things this season, probably as much as in the first two seasons. It has been frustrating at times and often we have had to go back to the drawing board. I can’t give enough thanks to my mechanics, the team (MTECH Motorsport), my family, sponsors, supporters and particularly the Kiwi Driver Fund.
“While the grids were smaller than in previous years, it was a tough field to compete in. I think we got caught out by signing on to the series late and not having done any pre-season testing.
“I think our qualifying pace ‘killed’ us. Anyone throughout the field who started near the front had a very good chance of getting onto the podium as Brendon Leitch showed winning two races and even Ryan (Yardley) got onto the podium at Taupo (race 2). We were also unlucky in any marble draw.”
Now it’s back to reality for Cockerton and shortly hitting the books studying a Business Management degree.
“We have no fixed (racing) plans for the rest of the year but working hard to get something in Asia. Our Audi test in Sepang a month ago was very successful and it would be great to get a drive in a GT series.”
Final points after 15 races (Top 10).
1, Shwartzman, 916;
2, Verschoor, 911;
3, Armstrong, 901;
4, Correa, 756;
5 Novalak, 711;
6, Pull, 692;
7, Leitch, 634;
8, Harker, 538;
9, Yardley, 525;
10, Cockerton, 514.
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