The opening race of the 2013 International Toyota Racing Series was won convincingly by young Austrian driver Lucas Auer at Teretonga today.
The 18 year old, who is the nephew of former Formula 1 Grand Prix driver Gerhard Berger, led away from pole position and extended his lead to 2.5 seconds as he set a new lap record for the world's most southermost race circuit.
Kiwi driver Nick Cassidy led the chasing pack, the defending Toyota Champion beating his team mate Alex Lynn into the first corner.
Cassidy came from third on the grid into second and was pleased with his opening performance in the 15-race series.
Auer set the pace during three days of testing leading into the race weekend and was on pole at Teretonga for the second year running.
Last season he spun away his lead on the opening lap of the first race but the 18-year-old wasn't about to repeat that mistake.
Auer slashed nearly half a second off the five-year-old Teretonga lap record in spite of the warm but blustery conditions.
The 18 car grid was dominated by International drivers but Cassidy has his title defence off to a solid start.
The second and third races of the International Toyota Racing Series will be held at Teretonga tomorrow.