Shepherd goes three from three at Manfeild

Rown race3 win (940 x 450)

Rowan Shepherd completed a superb weekend at Manfeild Circuit Chris Amon to win the third and final race of the third round of the Best Bars Toyota 86 Championship - and take the championship lead.

Having inherited the morning race win after on the road victor Wood was penalised, Shepherd held off Ryan and Simon Evans to make it three from three and light up the championship, which is currently the most closely fought in domestic motorsport. Shepherd now has three wins, as do Evans and Wood.

“It was intense, I don’t think anyone likes to defend for that long,” said Shepherd afterwards. “I just had to keep focussed and go back to basics like apexes and get good exits and that worked. I’ve just got to keep focussed in those situations. Three from three, I never thought we would have that, so that’s awesome.”

There was praise from Wood too, who enjoyed the superb battle. “Rowan is a very smart driver, and I just couldn’t do it today. After yesterday, I’m very happy with how today went. I made just a slight error again in race two. I just need to fix a few things with myself and I’m confident we can get a bit closer in the points.”

It was Shepherd who converted pole position into a race lead but Wood and Evans were never far behind. Wood got his nose in front on lap six but Shepherd wasn't done and fought back to take the lead in a great move at turn one which saw him go right then left and then underneath Wood forcing Ryan to go wide. Evans tried to make the most of the situation too, but the three emerged with Shepherd first, Wood second and Evans third.

There was never more than a few tenths between the top three as the great battles which are a feature of this year's championship continued at the front. Although he had the pace to stay with the leaders, Evans never looked strong enough to go for a pass as he and two leaders gapped the rest of the field in the second half of the race. Wood kept the pressure on Shepherd right up until the last corner of the last lap, but Shepherd held on to take the chequered flag.

Behind the superb tussle for first second and third, Brock Gilchrist had a strong drive to fourth and although he did make an impression on the leaders in the second half, he like Evans was unable to mount a challenge to the leading group.

Ronan Murphy had a good race to finish fifth, having passed his team mate Christina Orr-West and then pulled away. Orr-West managed a sixth placed finish while Marco Giltrap came alive in the second half of the race to come through to seventh after a good dice with Justin Allen.

Allen came home eighth – but was penalised later – leaving the position to Todd Foster. Tayler Bryant enjoyed a race long battle with Foster and eventually took ninth with Mark mallard completing the top ten.


Best Bars Toyota 86 Championship Round 3 Manfeild Race 3

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


Best Bars Toyota 86 Championship – Points after Round 3

  1. Rowan Shepherd 600
  2. Simon Evans 577
  3. Ryan Wood 560
  4. Brock Gilchrist 517
  5. Marco Giltrap 418
  6. Ronan Murphy 395
  7. Christina Orr-West 364
  8. Justin Allen 315
  9. Todd Foster 286
  10. Alexandra Whitley 271
  11. Tayler Bryant 270
  12. John Penny 264
  13. Mark Mallard 255
  14. Tony Austin 158
  15. Brian Scott 68