Mitch Cunningham produced a string of consistent finishes to extend his Toyota Racing Series points lead in round two at Timaru last weekend
Cunningham (22) took second, third and fourth placings in the three races for the Celica-powered Tatuus open-wheelers.
"A win or podium in (the 20 lap Timaru Herald Trophy, the meeting’s feature race) would have been nice, but in terms of the championship we're exactly where we want to be," he said.
"Heading into this round there were just four points between myself and Nathan (Antunes) but now there are 23 between me and (Timaru round winner) Scott Pye.
“Our goal this season was to win the championship, and to win the championship you have to score points, which is what's been my focus this weekend."
Cunningham's best result last weekend was second place in Saturday’s 12-lap race, with little between him and eventual winner, Briton William Buller.
Buller, Cunningham and Michael Burdett then ran line astern behind poleman and eventual winner Pye in race two, and in the finale, Cunningham got baulked through Turn 1 and found himself behind a fast-starting Pye and Stevens, Buller and Burdett.
"Until Buller went off it was a carbon copy of the second race," he said. Pye won the race to take the round, ahead of Cunningham and Buller.
Cunningham now has 369 points, 23 more than Pye and 60 more than third-placed Sam MacNeill.