Payne dominates TRS qualifying with blistering pace at Manfeild
Matthew Payne showed his world class abilities in the Castrol Toyota Racing Series qualifying session at Manfeild Circuit Chris Amon this morning with a pair of qualifying laps that secured pole position starts for both of Saturday's races.
His best lap was nine one thousandths of a second quicker than that set by Franco Colapinto in the same qualifying session in 2020, an indication not just of his raw speed but that of all of the young Kiwi Driver Fund supported racers battling it for honours in this year's Castrol Toyota Racing Series.
Payne was first to show his pace at the half way mark with a series of fast laps in the 20 minute session. He was first into the 1 minute three second bracket before Kaleb Ngatoa and Peter Vodanovich also went under 1.04.
With pole position for both of Saturday's races being defined in the qualifying session - fastest lap getting pole position for the feature race and the driver's second fastest lap denoting their starting position for the first race - Payne kept carving away at the hundredths and tenths before Kaleb Ngatoa and Peter Vodanovich also went under 1.04.
Payne, however, was simply relentless in lowering the mark and eventually secured pole position for the feature race with a blistering 1.03.1 lap. His second best lap was a 1.03.2 effort and was good enough for pole position in the first race of the day too.
Kaleb Ngatoa and Peter Vodanovich traded times for best of the rest in the session and Ngatoa eventually secured a front row spot for the first race, with Vodanovich joining Payne on the front row for the second race.
The battle for third place in the championship is also an intriguing one with Vodanovich still in the mix and Conrad Clarke and Billy Frazer not only close on points but also on lap times. Chris Vlok will start from the third row in both of today's races.
Castrol Toyota Racing Series - Round 3 Manfeild - Race 1 Grid
- Matthew Payne 1:03.202
- Kaleb Ngatoa 1:03.519
- Peter Vodanovich 1:03.523
- Conrad Clarke 1:03.842
- Billy Frazer 1:03.866
- Chris Vlok 1:04.430
Castrol Toyota Racing Series - Round 3 Manfeild - Dan Higgins Trophy Race
- Matthew Payne 1:03.176
- Peter Vodanovich 1:03.407
- Kaleb Ngatoa 1:03.503
- Billy Frazer 1:03.599
- Conrad Clarke 1:03.711
- Chris Vlok 1:04.339