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Rodin continues to blitz records

Lawson smashes Dixon's 1998 Ruapuna record

Rodin’s FZED single-seater race car recorded its third unofficial lap record in succession when star driver Liam Lawson lowered Scott Dixon’s 1998 best time of Ruapuna Raceway by 4.6 seconds.

The 19-year-old Red Bull Junior recorded his flying lap of 1-minute 11.2-seconds during a lunchtime demonstration.

Dixon’s benchmark of 1m 15.8s was set in a Formula Holden Reynard 92D.

It was the first time Lawson had driven on the Christchurch-based circuit since he took a clean-sweep of Formula Ford races there in January 2017, on his way to winning the New Zealand title.

“I knew the track in the back of my mind but it was way tighter, bumpier and twister than I’d remembered it,” said Lawson afterwards.

“In the FZED, corners like Pothole, which are really high speed, it’s quite nice to open it up through there and see what it can do.

“And then there’s the massive long main straight before a big braking zone. So much fun and a really cool track to drive.”

A week prior Lawson went under his own lap record at the Highlands circuit near Cromwell by 6-seconds but at Ruapuna, changeable weather on Sunday prevented a second day of running to see if he could go even faster.

“A pity we didn’t get another shot but I think the lap time we did was quite good.

The Rodin team had saved a set of new Pirelli tyres for the second day but with rain on the day it was decided to leave the car in the pit garage.

“If we had another go with another set of new tyres, maybe another half-second quicker, but that’s about all,” said Lawson. “I think a mid to high-10 would have been achievable.”

Before Lawson returns to Europe in just over three weeks to prepare for the Formula 2 season he may, pending Covid restrictions, have one more lap record attempt in the FZED at Hampton Downs on February 12-13.

“I hope we get to the North Island to show people there how quick this car is. It’s been great to show so many people in the South Island the Rodin FZED, let’s hope we can do the same up there,” he said from Christchurch.

Developed and built at Rodin’s facility at Mt Lyford, the Cosworth V8-powered FZED produces 675hp and can rocket from 0-160kph in 5-seconds.

While official lap times can only be set during a race, the Rodin FZED has clocked the fastest ever lap time during demonstration runs at Donington in the UK and now at New Zealand tracks, Highlands and Ruapuna.

“I hope I haven’t had my last drive for now. I love driving this car and really want to have a shot at the Hampton Downs record,” he said.

Rodin Cars backed Lawson’s debut season in F2 last year and will continue on as this year’s joint naming rights sponsor with Red Bull.


Liam Lawson set another unofficial lap record at Ruapuna Raceway near Christchurch. (Photos: Euan Cameron)