Connor Adam hangs on to Toyota 86 Championship lead

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Halfway through the Toyota 86 Championship, the title could go to any one of a half dozen drivers.Auckland's Connor Adam came to Ruapuna with the Championship lead, and leaves it still leading - but the pack are closing in.

The sensation of the meeting was the sheer speed of local 15 year old Jaden Ransley and the equally competitive rookie Jordan Baldwin from Auckland.

While Jack Milligan, Tom Alexander, Connor Adam and Michael Scott are all in contention for the title, Ransley (pictured) impressed the crowd with a series of drives that culminated with victory in the third race.

Likewise Baldwin, who dominates the rookie standings, has also stood on the podium, three times in three races.

Christchurch driver Jack Milligan sprinted into the championship lead with victory in the first race at Mike Pero Motorsport Park, Ruapuna, Christchurch.

Milligan dominated the race from the start and was able to dictate pace over the distance to the chequered flag, though behind him Michael Scott had forced his way through the field to a podium and International Motorsport's Connor Adam hung on to maintain his title hopes.

On his charge through the field, Scott tangled with Tom Alexander mid-corner, the latter spinning off into the infield before regaining the track. Scott also set fastest lap of the race, a 1:37.949 on lap 3.

Another local, Jaden Ransley, was quick in the opening laps and showed true race-craft to hang on as the podium battle swept over him. He finished fourth, two second clear of leading rookie Jordan Baldwin.

In Sunday’s partial reverse grid race, Jack Milligan was on the third row of the grid and became enmeshed in an epic mid-field battle. Michael Scott was the big mover in the field, quickly slotting into the lead to win outright ahead of Jaden Ransley and Jordan Baldwin, who extended his lead in the rookie standings.

Scott also set the fastest lap of the race, a 1:38.180.

In the third and final race local driver Jaden Ransley, 15, ran out a winner in a clean flag to flag run, holding a margin of almost three seconds by race end.

Jack Milligan lost most of his rear bumper in an early clash with another car, trailed the plastic cover for a number of laps and was black flagged to pit and remove the remainder of the bumper. He rejoined last.

Michael Scott set fastest time of the race, a 1:38.778. He and rookie leader Jordan Baldwin filled the other podium steps with Tom Alexander holding out Connor Adam for fourth. Adam, racing for International Motorsport, remains the Championship leader by ten points from Alexander, Jack Milligan third and a single point further back.

Toyota 86 Championship round four, race one
1 Jack Milligan
2 Michael Scott
3 Connor Adam
4 Jaden Ransley
5 Jordan Baldwin
6 Bramwell King
7 Peter Vodanovich
8 Tom Alexander
9 Sam Wallace
10 Sam Wright

Toyota 86 Championship round four, race two
1 Michael Scott
2 Jaden Ransley
3 Jordan Baldwin
4 Bramwell King
5 Tom Alexander
6 Jack Milligan
7 Connor Adam
8 Peter Vodanovich
9 Sam Wallace
10 Sam Wright

Toyota 86 Championship round four, race three
1 Jaden Ransley
2 Michael Scott
3 Jordan Baldwin
4 Tom Alexander
5 Connor Adam
6 Peter Vodanovich
7 Bramwell King
8 Sam Wright
9 Sam Wallace
10 Jack Milligan

The 2017-2018 Toyota 86 Championship
Round 1: Pukekohe 3-5 Nov 2017 (complete)
Round 2: Taupo 1-3 Dec 2017 (complete)
Round 3: Ruapuna 12-14 Jan 2018
Round 4: Teretonga 19-21 Jan 2018
Round 5: Manfeild 9-11 February 2018
Round 6: Hampton Downs 9-11 March 2018

Round three track times:
Qualifying 1 and 2 Saturday 10:45-11:05 am
Race 1 Saturday 4:06 pm (8 laps)
Race 2 Sunday 10:19 am (8 laps)
Race 3 Sunday 2:12 pm (12 laps)