Wood sets early pace at Taupo, Murphy shines

Ronan (940 x 450)

Ryan Wood topped first and last practice as he quickly got to grips with the Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park in the final weekend of the gripping 2021 Best Bars Toyota 86 Championship.

Wood clocked a 1.44.6 second lap early on to edge fellow championship challenger Simon Evans by just over a tenth of a second. John Penny was an impressive third on a track he knows well while Ronan Murphy and Marco Giltrap completed the top five for Dayle ITM and Lexus respectively.

Championship leader Rowan Shepherd was only ninth in the first session and improved to eighth in the second, which was topped by Murphy who this time edged out Wood and Evans for the fastest time.  

Wood went quickest again in the final session, edging Penny – there again in the Penny Homes car and showing that knowledge of the circuit is a definite advantage – and the impressive Murphy.

Shepherd once again preferred to keep his pace in the mid-field bunch, clocking eighth fastest time again.

A notable performer throughout the day was Hugo Allan, making his debut the series and on a race track. An established sim racer whose on-line racing includes starring in the recent Motorsport New Zealand e-Race series, the sixteen year old first sat in a championship Toyota 86 barely a fortnight ago after completing the Hampton Downs Racing Academy programme.

He had only three days of driving in the ex-Tony Austin car before his impressive first runs at Taupo. Seventh, fourth and sixth in the three sessions was an eye-catching performance from the Takapuna Grammar School 16 year old.

The quickest lap times were recorded in the cooler morning session.


Best Bars Toyota 86 Championship – Round 5 – Practice 1

  1. Ryan Wood
  2. Simon Evans
  3. John Penny
  4. Ronan Murphy
  5. Marco Giltrap
  6. Brock Gilchrist
  7. Hugo Allan
  8. Alexandra Whitley
  9. Rowan Shepherd
  10. Christina Orr-West
  11. Tayler Bryant
  12. Mark Mallard
  13. Justin Allen
  14. Todd Foster


Best Bars Toyota 86 Championship – Round 5 – Practice 2

  1. Ronan Murphy
  2. Ryan Wood
  3. Simon Evans
  4. Hugo Allan
  5. Brock Gilchrist
  6. John Penny
  7. Marco Giltrap
  8. Rowan Shepherd
  9. Christina Orr-West
  10. Alexandra Whitley
  11. Tayler Bryant
  12. Todd Foster
  13. Mark Mallard
  14. Justin Allen


Best Bars Toyota 86 Championship – Round 5 – Practice 3

  1. Ryan Wood
  2. John Penny
  3. Ronan Murphy
  4. Simon Evans
  5. Justin Allen
  6. Hugo Allan
  7. Marco Giltrap
  8. Rowan Shepherd
  9. Brock Gilchrist
  10. Christina Orr-West
  11. Todd Foster
  12. Tayler Bryant
  13. Alexandra Whitley
  14. Mark Mallard