The Toyota Racing Series moves 422 km north this weekend to the tight, fast and challenging Levels International Raceway at Timaru.
Levels is northwest of Timaru, and the locality is the home of famous New Zealand race horse Phar Lap. Drivers pass the horse racing track to reach the motor racing circuit.
The race circuit traditionally tests racers with a mix of conditions, but average temperatures are usually 8-12 degrees warmer than Invercargill.
Testing today at Levels Raceway took place in overcast and warm conditions, with temperatures in the mid-20s until the final ten minutes of the second session, when the warm nor’wester wind switched around to a chill southerly.
In rapidly dropping temperatures, the 23-strong field completed their final laps with a new name at the top of the timesheets. Christchurch racer and current Formula Ford champion James Munro, racing with Neale Motorsport, put in a 57.964 on his last lap, making him the fastest racer of the day.
He was the only racer across the two sessions to go under the 58s, with Macauley Jones of Australia second fastest on 58.176. Steijn Schothorst had topped the first session, but had only been able to manage third fastest in the afternoon session. Series leader Martin Rump was fourth fastest in the second session, with dual race winner Egor Orudzhev fifth.
The second session was faster than the first for many of the drivers. Of the top ten in that session, only three have previous experience at Levels: Munro, Schothorst and sixth-placed Damon Leitch.