Harker starts as he means to go on at Ruapuna
Reid Harker has rebooted his championship aspirations with a win in the first race of round three of the Toyota 86 Championship.
Racing at Mike Pero Motorsport Park, Harker started as he meant to continue with fastest time in practice on Friday and then dual pole positions in qualifying on Saturday morning.
In the first race this afternoon, he effortlessly propelled the Aegis Oils TR 86 to victory ahead of Michael Scott and championship leader Ryan Yardley.
“The car went faultlessly through qualifying, I’m really pleased with our pace here this year. Last year we were down on speed but the car's been magic so far this weekend."
Harker has been consistently fast through all the on-track sessions. He was the only driver to break into 1:35 minute laps in qualifying, posting 1:35.479 for pole in race one over eight laps this afternoon and backing that with a 1:35.689 for pole in tomorrow afternoon's 15 lap feature race.
Yardley kept his championship hopes alive with a well-driven run to third, harrying second-placed Michael Scott throughout the race. Yardley set a new track lap record for the category, a 1:36.256.
Fourth after battling with Connor Adam for much of the race was Jacob Smith, who then held out Brody McConkey to make sure of valuable points for the championship.
Mike Lightfoot spun after his car and Jack Milligan’s CareVets TR 86 made contact; Milligan receiving a drive-through penalty for his part in the clash.
Matt Lockwood has struggled for pace this weekend after crashing yesterday. He had to switch to the LightingPlus TR 86 when his Placemakers car was too badly damaged to repair overnight, and found the car’s handling very different from his own.
John Penny was off the pace after his strong showing at the previous round, and eventually finished last after battling with Matt Lockwood.