Milligan draws closer to title

Jack Milligan 940x450

Christchurch driver Jack Milligan has extended his lead in the Toyota 86 Championship with victory in the penultimate round of the 2017-2018 Toyota 86 Championship.

In three races at Manfeild’s 3.03 km Circuit Chris Amon, Milligan took two wins and a second placing in a dominant performance.

The event was not without its dramas. In the 10-lap opening race on Saturday, Milligan and Bramwell King made an all-CareVets Racing front row with Milligan on pole. Though King slipped back as far as fourth, the pair ended up first and second with star rookie Peter Vodanovich third.

The race was disrupted in its closing laps when Jordan Baldwin crashed at the infield hairpin, dragging championship contender Connor Adam with him. Adam said he was well into the corner and didn’t see the Baldwin car coming. The team had struggled with understeer going into the first race and Adam said he was looking to bank some valuable points.

Baldwin said afterward his foot had slipped between brake and accelerator as he set the car for the corner and he couldn't brake. The crash brought out the safety car as the Baldwin TR 86 was recovered by flatbed truck.

"I've never had that happen before. I couldn't get my foot back up to brake, and then it was too late. Really sorry that the crash affected Connor's race too, he was going well."

The car finished up in the tyre barrier with its front right suspension torn off.

As Baldwin's car was recovered, Adam regained the track with his car's left side smashed in and completed the race at the rear of the field. The damage to the Adam car was less substantial and he finished ninth.

In the second race on Sunday morning, Michael Scott leapt into contention with the win, Milligan taking second overall and championship returnee Jacob Smith third. Connor Adam was fifth.

Then in the final race on Sunday afternoon Milligan once more took the win ahead of Jordan Baldwin and Michael Scott.

Potential for a CareVets 1-2 had evaporated when Bramwell King crashed at high speed on the front straight, slamming his car into the pit entry road.

The final round of the championship is a month away and will be held at Hampton Downs.

Toyota 86 Championship
Manfeild Circuit Chris Amon
Race one
1 Jack Milligan
2 Bramwell King
3 Peter Vodanovich
4 Michael Scott
5 Jaden Ransley
6 Jacob Smith
7 Sam Wright
8 Brock Gilchrist
9 Connor Adam
10 Jordan Baldwin

Toyota 86 Championship
Manfeild Circuit Chris Amon
Race two
1 Michael Scott
2 Jack Milligan
3 Jacob Smith
4 Jaden Ransley
5 Connor Adam
6 Jordan Baldwin
7 Peter Vodanovich
8 Sam Wright
9 Brook Gilchrist
10 Bramwell King

Toyota 86 Championship
Manfeild Circuit Chris Amon
Race three
1 Jack Milligan
2 Jordan Baldwin
3 Michael Scott
4 Connor Adam
5 Jaden Ransley
6 Jacob Smith
7 Peter Vodanovich
8 Sam Wright
9 Brock Gilchrist

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 (complete)
Round 4: Teretonga 19-21 Jan 2018 (complete)
Round 5: Manfeild 9-11 February 2018 (complete)
Round 6: Hampton Downs 9-11 March 2018

Points after five of six rounds
Milligan 916
Scott 886
Adam 793
Baldwin 750
Ransley 713
King 517
Wright 507
Alexander 505 
Vodanovich 422
MacDonald 278
Wallace 240
Harker 161
Smith 150
Quin 123
Gilchrist 111
Short 108
Gulson 97
Pilcher 96
Hill 93