Championship battle intensifies with Robotham win
The blow for blow battle that is this year's Best Bars Toyota 86 Championship continued in the second race at the New Zealand Grand Prix meeting with Jaylyn Robotham bouncing back from his Saturday defeat to win at Manfeild.
It was Jaden Ransley in the Myles Toyota 86 who led the field away initially as Peter Vodanovich didn't make the greatest of starts from his pole position slot in the NEXEN DTM racer.
It took Robotham a few laps to size up his opposition, but with ten to go he slipstreamed past Ransley to pass him for the first time in the Eastern Performance Centre car before Ransley fought back through the infield and out braked the Aussie ace into the circuit's iconic 'Splash' corner.
This duel brought Vodanovich back into the picture after his average start and Robotham realised that with a pass on Ransley that he was able to make stick. Vodanovich followed suit with a great run out of the infield hairpin and then set off after the leader. For Ransley, the race became a battle for third with a fast-closing Connor Adam.
Behind the lead four there was plenty for a good sized Grand Prix crowd to follow with Campbell Stewart for Total Oils, Richard Peasey and local boy Justin Allen in his familiar Battery Town racer all within sight of the leaders and enjoying their own intense fight. Further back, James Wilkins and Andrew Jackson were also hard at it in an entertaining dice and even at the rear the battle between Tayler Bryant, Brayden Philips and Todd Foster was a hugely entertaining one.
Wilkins' attempts to pass Jackson ended spectacularly with a wild ride for the Australian based English racer across the gravel at the final turn, but he was able to make it back to the pits and eventually resume.
Out front there was no stopping Robotham who kept a comfortable distance between himself and arch rival Vodanovich. At the flag that was the first two and behind Connor Adam came out on top after his battle with Ransley to take the final place on the podium (pictured above). Ransley perhaps deserved better than fourth after a spectacular drive but had a good margin over the chasing pack, which had broken up into single and two car battles in the final few laps.
Campbell Stewart kept his head in the hot conditions to come home fifth, while Peasey followed him home in sixth after an almighty battle with Justin Allen in the final few laps. Allen made it home in seventh, while Brock Gilchrist was a lonely eighth with Ryan Wood for CareVets and Connor Davison for Highlands Motorsport Park wrapping up the top ten.
Best Bars Toyota 86 Championship - Round 4 - New Zealand Grand Prix - Manfeild Race 2
1. Jaylyn Robotham, Eastern Performance Centre
2. Peter Vodanovich, NEXEN DTM
3. Connor Adam, Poste Haste
4. Jaden Ransley, Miles Toyota
5. Campbell Stewart, Total Oil
6. Richard Peasey, Toyota GAZOO Racing New Zealand
7. Justin Allen, Battery Town
8. Brock Gilchrist, NEXUS Logistics
9. Ryan Wood, CareVets
10. Connor Davison, Highlands Motorsport Park
11. Andrew Jackson, Northshore Toyota
12 Leo Bult, North Western Toyota
13 Tayler Bryant, Brian Roberts Paint/CareVets
14 Todd Foster, Post Haste
15 Brayden Phillips, Carters Tyre Service
16 James Wilkins, Kaizen Racing/That English Bloke