A fastest lap and a race win brings Toyota Finance 86 Championship leader Ryan Yardley closer to his goal at Teretonga near Invercargill today.
Christchurch-based Ryan Yardley is locked in battle with Albany’s Reid Harker, Te Puke driver Michael Scott and Matt Lockwood for the championship. He arrived at Teretonga with a nine point advantage over Harker, 549-541 with Lockwood third on 474 and Scott fourth on 464.
Harker’s challenge took firm shape when he qualified on pole with Yardley alongside. Row two was Michael Scott and Yardley’s CareVets team-mate Jack Milligan. Matt Lockwood, recovering from a big crash at the previous round, put his newly repaired car on the third row, fifth fastest.
From the race start Harker defended into the first corner and looked set to race to the win on the 2.57 km circuit, the southernmost permanent race circuit in the world. A win for Harker would have up-ended the championship points table but a penalty applied by race officials dropped him to last.
Yardley needed no second invitation and grabbed the lead, racing to victory and another 75 points toward the title. He set the fastest lap of the race, a 1:07.650 – a half second off Nick Cassidy’s category race lap record of 1:07.148.
Michael Scott came home second and Jacob Smith third.
Mike Lightfoot fought through to fourth overall and Miles Cockram was fifth.
Behind them, there was mayhem. Matt Lockwood and Jack Milligan had been locked in a battle for position that ended in contact between their cars with a spin for Lockwood that enabled Milligan to continue and finish seventh.