12 Feb 2016
Round 4 of the Toyota 86 Championship took place in the weekend at Teretonga Park in Invercargill, the southern most race track in the world. It was great to get back in the car and get back racing. On Friday we had 3 practice sessions which went well. We had both wet and dry practice sessions and we were happy with where we were.
Saturday morning started off with a dry qualifying. I struggled with pace as I didn’t know how hard I could push with only having a handful of laps in the dry on Friday. We ended qualifying 8th place. I wasn’t thrilled with the result but the times were extremely close and I knew I would be able to race my way up the field.
Race 1 was a wet track on slick tyres. It was hard to read the track and see how much grip and how dry it actually was. A red flag stopped the race after 2 laps due to a crash. I had a great re start but with the track being so narrow I had nowhere to go. I knew I had to finish and get some points as Jacob Smith who I’m battling with in the rookie championship didn’t finish. I finished 9th on track but got promoted as someone in front of me got disqualified, so I finished 8th.
Race 2 was a reverse top 8 which meant I started from pole position. It was wet which I was pleased about as I knew we had the pace in the wet conditions. I had a great start and lead from start to finish. John Penny and Ash Blewett were both extremely fast, but as they started to battle I managed to get a gap and hold it till the end. Can’t thank the team enough for an awesome car and all the effort they put in. Was great to get my first win of the series, and be one of only four drivers who have been able to take a race win this season.
Race 3 I started from 7th position. I didn’t get a flash start and dropped back a few places before turn 1. Had a great first lap battle with Reid Harker before pushing hard to catch the pack in front. I caught the pack and there was 5 cars all battling together. It was a great race with plenty of passing going on. I worked my way up to 6th place and that’s where I finished the race. I was happy with that as I finished in front of both Jacob and Reid who I’m fighting for the rookie championship with.
It was a great weekend racing. Winning race 2 and also winning the rookie of the round. I believe I’m now back in the lead of the Rookie Championship and have moved from 7th to 5th in the Overall Championship. Couldn’t ask for much more!
Once again big thanks Keith Houston and CareVets for the opportunity to race the #18 CareVets Scholarship Toyota 86 this season. A massive thanks must go to the whole team, Keith, Mark, Steve, Chris, Tyler, Maria and Charlotte thanks for all the effort you guys put in. Also thanks to Keith and Mark for towing the race cars up and down the country. Thanks to my friends and family for their help and support! To all my personal sponsors, Paul Kelly Motor Company, Hornby Auto Electrics, Battery Town, ORG Racewear, Monteith’s Merrin Street and Penrite Oil thank you for all your support again this season!
Keep an eye out of skysport for replays of the weekends racing. Can’t wait to get back in the car for the 5th round of the championship in 3 weeks time in Palmerston North.