McNee fast in qualifying

Defending Toyota Finance 86 Championship champion Jamie McNee has begun the second round of the 2014-2015 championship  in sensational form, running fastest in both today’s timed practice sessions at Pukekohe.

Wellington-born McNee posted fastest time in the first session and was one of only two drivers to break into the 1:16 bracket, then in the afternoon session he went even quicker, setting a 1:15.859.

The race lap record for the TR86 series is a 1:15.159, set by Angus Fogg in the inaugural season.

Second quickest in the first session was Calum Quin in the Spark/Spotify car on 1:16.894, while  former Christchurch driver Tom Alexander was second quickest in the afternoon session.

Fourteen-year-old Marcus Armstrong, who is mentored by experienced race driver and engineer Andy Neale, took a pair of top results: third fastest time with a 1:17.019 in the morning and fourth fastest with a 1:16.472 in the afternoon.

Ashley Blewett was third fastest in the afternoon.

Making a strong comeback to the series after crashing at the first round, Cory Holmes ran in the top three for the best part of both sessions at what could be regarded as his home track. In the morning session he was nudged out to fourth fastest in the last few laps by Marcus Armstrong, while he held third fastest in the second session but was bumped out to fifth in the closing laps.

Though the weather was unpredictable, with several rain showers during the day, both sessions were held in dry conditions and all competitors completed the two 20 minute sessions on the 2.91 km track safely.

The Toyota Finance 86 Championship returns to the track at Pukekohe at 10.45 am for a 20 minute qualifying session; the first race of the weekend is at 2.20 pm over 10 laps.