Ptacek is the Friday flyer at Hampton Downs
Czech Republic racer Petr Ptacek backed up his solid form of Thursday with the best time of the day and the fastest time of the meeting so far at Hampton Downs at Round 3 of the Castrol Toyota Racing Series on Friday.
Ptacek had been one of the quicker drivers throughout the day, clocking the fifth and seventh best times in the earlier sessions, but he saved his best to last in his mtec Motorsport engineered by R-Ace GP run car to go quickest in the dying minutes of the final third session.
His 1 minute 1.087 lap was the quickest of the meeting so far and eclipsed championship contended Igor Fraga in his M2 Competition run car by a scant sixth one thousandths of a second.
Once again the top cars were almost too close to separate, with the top ten covered by one of the smallest margins in the category’s history at just over three tenths of a second. The top five were covered by just over one tenth of a second. Behind Fraga in third, Franco Colapinto ended a solid day with third best time, with fast Aussie Jackson Walls fourth and Caio Collet fifth.
It was the third session of the day when the teams really started to show the true pace of the FT60 around Hampton Downs.
In the cooler morning session, Argentine sensation Colapinto once again showed solid form for Kiwi Motorsport topping the session with a 1 minute 1.2 second lap. The remarkable Tijmen van der Helm continued his impressive debut in a Castrol TRS race weekend, clocking the second fastest time of the session just a tenth behind Colapinto and making it a 1-2 in the session for Kiwi Motorsport.
Caio Collet for mtec Motorsport and Gregoire Saucy for Giles Motorsport were third and fourth while Germany’s Lirim Zendeli was fifth.
Zendeli went quickest in the second – slower session – and this time it was Walls who finished second. Colapinto maintained his strong pace for third, while Fraga – top runner for M2 Motorsport in both early sessions, managed the fourth best time.
Axel Gnos had a challenging day, tripping over Rui Andrade at Hampton Downs tricky downhill ‘dipper’ hairpin in the morning session and lightly rolling his car. He was fine but gave his Kiwi Motorsport mechanics a tough challenge to have the Toyota FT60 ready for the second session. They did complete the task in hand and get him out but a consequence of all the disruption was that the Swiss racer was at the foot of the time sheets in both first and second sessions.
M2 Competition saved their form until the third and final session and after a fairly quiet day, both Liam Lawson and Yuki Tsunoda popped up amongst the quick runners.