Jamie McNee is closer to winning the inaugural Toyota Finance 86 Championship after a day filled with spectacular race action at Hampton Downs.
McNee took pole in the morning’s qualifying session and then survived a nose to tail impact that saw the front of key rival Ash Blewett’s car pushed in to win the first race, stretching his championship lead to 145 points in that race.
The tangle between McNee and Blewett happened at the fast downhill right-hand turn one when McNee missed a downshift for the corner. Blewett was gaining fast on the Wellington driver and found himself with no safe avenue to avoid the impact.
Both drivers emerged safely from the racing incident.
“That was a busy race for sure. The car was good all race, I couldn’t ask for more – now I just have to stay focused on the title.”
Then in the second race of the day McNee started from sixth on the grid and had carved his way through to the front but ended up second overall behind Blewett while Tom Alexander had chased McNee through the pack but then went rapidly backward over the final laps with an off-track excursion that the Christchurch driver was lucky to recover from. Alexander finished that race fourth. Tony Houston spun, Marcus Armstrong fought a pitched battle with Ken Smith and John Lovich pitted early and did not finish.
Consistent performances across the two races have put Callum Quin second overall in the Telecom/Spotify car.
With a commanding but by no means decisive 147 point advantage over Quin, McNee faces a nervous wait for race three tomorrow morning to seal the championship. Behind him, Quin, Blewett and Alexander are now locked in a battle for second and with 75 points available for each of the race wins tomorrow Quin has a mathematical chance of snatching the title.