With less than a second covering the top 14 runners in the Toyota 86 Championship qualifying today at Pukekohe Park, it was a resurgent Peter Vodanovich who grabbed pole position for the first race on Saturday afternoon.
Vodanovich, Kaleb Ngatoa and Arran Crighton had not enjoyed the best of starts to their championship campaigns at the first round of the championship at Pukekohe, but all bounced back in style on the original full straight layout to set the early pace in the session. Vodanovich in the CMC Markets car particularly stood out, clocking his fastest time on just his second flying lap. Ultimately none of the tightly packed field of 16 runners could touch him.
"It's a track with two big long straights and one of them I got a great tow, which helped me a lot," he explained.
Slipstreaming played a significant role in helping drivers gain a few tenths here and there. Championship leader Connor Adam was out on his own for most of the session, and struggling to find top ten pace, but used the slipstreaming benefit to good effect late in the session to jump up the grid from 12th to seventh, just three tenths off pole position.
With tenths covering most of the field, Jaden Ransley took second on the grid, with CareVets Scholarship racer Callum Hedge third. His team mate Crighton joined him on the second row just five thousandths of a second behind his team mate, with an eye-catching performance from Campbell Stewart netting him fifth on the grid for the first race in the NZPGS/Hydraulink car.
Toyota 86 Championship - Qualifying result
1. Peter Vodanovich - CMC Markets/MacClure's ITM
2. Jaden Ransley - Miles Toyota/Kitchen Studio
3. Callum Hedge - CareVets NZ Ltd
4. Arran Crighton - CareVets NZ Ltd
5. Campbell Stewart - NZPGS/Hydraulink
6. Kaleb Ngatoa - JJ Wallers/Capture Signs
7. Connor Adam - Post Haste/Weigh Northland
8. Brock Gilchrist - Zic/Giltrap Group
9. Connor Davison - Hampton Downs/Highlands Park
10. Jordan Baldwin - Intermach NZ/Carters Tyres
11. Jacob Cranston - Best Bars/Vista Lite
12. Mitch Hughes- Gilpin Cartage Contractors
13. Sam Wright - Tony Richards Toyota/Premier
14. Leo Bult - North Shore Toyota
15. Justin Allen - Battery Town/Thunder Adventure
16. Tony Austin - Genweld