Wood shows intent with fastest time in qualifying

Ryan (940 x 450)

The Best Bars Toyota 86 Championship 2021 season got underway at Hampton Downs with the first qualifying session of the season and it was young gun Ryan Wood who put down an early marker that he intends to be a title contender.

It was Rowan Shepherd who set a benchmark 1 minute 53.7 lap that stood for almost two thirds of the session before Wood - in his second season of Toyota 86 - then lowered the mark by just over a tenth of a second.

That time stood for the duration and put Wood on his first series pole position. Shepherd, who is beginning his first season in the category - came close but could not quite beat the mark set by Wood.

Ronan Murphy, another beginning his first season in the category and bringing experience from the US Formula 4 Championship to his domestic campaign this season, was an impressive third quickest ahead of Brock Gilchrist in the CareVets Scholarship car while Justin Allen, who is now one of the most experienced racers in the category, was fifth fastest ahead of multiple V8 and endurance champion Simon Evans.

Marco Giltrap was an impressive seventh fastest ahead of another hugely experienced racer, Christina Orr-West. The second fast lady in the series, Alexandra Whitley, was just a fraction of a second behind in ninth with Mark Mallard rounding out the top ten.

John Penny’s first qualifying session in his return to the championship netted the 11th fastest time, while enduro champion Tayler Bryant in 12th. Todd Foster, Tony Austin and Brian Scott complete the grid for the first race of the season on Saturday afternoon.

Fifteen cars took to the track for the opening qualifying session with a mix of young talent and some very experienced racing drivers.


Best Bars Toyota 86 Championship Round 1 qualifying

Pos         No          Name                                    Team

  1. 40 Ryan Wood - Ryan Wood Motorsport
  2. 34 Rowan Shepherd - Rowan Shepherd Racing
  3. 91 Ronan Murphy - Dayle ITM Racing
  4. 18 Brock Gilchrist - CareVets
  5. 99 Justin Allen - Allen Racing Team
  6. 4 Simon Evans - Giltrap Racing
  7. 84 Marco Giltrap -Giltrap Racing
  8. 55 Christina Orr-West - Dayle ITM Racing
  9. 6 Alexandra Whitley - Tony Richards Toyota
  10. 8 Mark Mallard - Creme Insurance
  11. 3 John Penny - John Penny Homes
  12. 75 Tayler Bryant - MTF Finance
  13. 222 Todd Foster - International Motorsport
  14. 71 Tony Austin - Genweld NZ Ltd
  15. 53 Brian Scott - Giltrap Racing