Pitt, McCutcheon and Gilchrist top Friday sessions

Matt McCutcheon (940 x 450)

Three different drivers topped the timesheets in testing at Hampton Downs Motorsport Park today, as the drivers revved up for the third round of the 2022 Toyota 86 Championship this weekend.

There were three sessions during the day, with two held in wet conditions and the third on a virtually dry track.

Dion Pitt bounced back from the disappointment of Ruapuna when he missed out on what could have been his first category win to head the first of the three sessions. He lapped the 2.7km National Circuit a third of a second quicker than Rowan Shepherd who was in his 2021 championship winning car now re-liveried in SpeedWorks colours for the rest of the championship. Current championship leader Simon Evans was a solid third and was at the sharp end for the majority of the session.

More wet weather greeted the 21 cars for the second session and this time it was Matthew McCutcheon who topped the charts for Action Motorsport. His 1.24.707 set late in the 20 minute session was the best time of the day up until that point and was just over a tenth of a second up on Shepherd. Pitt clocked third fastest time with Evans there again in fourth. Championship challenger Justin Allen completed the top five, making a step forwards from his eighth best time in the morning session.

Drying but very humid conditions greeted the drivers for the third session of the day and it was Toyota 86 Championship 'veteran' Brock Gilchrist who topped the timesheet for much of the session ahead of Rowan Shepherd. The champion was again on the pace, demonstrating he has speed in both wet and dry conditions and with very changeable weather forecast for the weekend, he'll be in good shape regardless of conditions.  Hugo Allan clocked third fastest time for The Heart of Racing with Allen a solid fourth for NAPA Autoparts. Highlands race winner John Penny was an impressive fifth in the session.

Saturday will get underway with qualifying for the Toyota 86 Championship field, before two races in the afternoon. Sunday brings a different format for race three - which will be a scratch race based on the second fastest times achieved by drivers n qualifying. The usual feature - with the grid based on points accumulated over the weekend - makes it four races over the weekend for the drivers.


Friday Practice - Session 1

  1. Dion Pitt
  2. Rowan Shepherd
  3. Simon Evans
  4. Matthew McCutcheon
  5. Hugo Allan
  6. Brock Gilchrist
  7. Clay Osborne
  8. Justin Allen
  9. Marco Giltrap
  10. John Penny
  11. Christina Orr-West
  12. Fynn Osborne
  13. Zac Stichbury
  14. Ronan Murphy
  15. Mark Mallard
  16. Todd Prujean
  17. Todd Foster
  18. Chelsea Herbert
  19. Rianna O'Meara Hunt
  20. Will Morton
  21. Sam Cotterill


Friday Practice - Session 2

  1. Matthew McCutcheon
  2. Rowan Shepherd
  3. Dion Pitt
  4. Simon Evans
  5. Justin Allen
  6. Marco Giltrap
  7. Clay Osborne
  8. Todd Prujean
  9. Brock Gilchrist
  10. Zac Stichbury
  11. Hugo Allan
  12. Christina Orr-West
  13. John Penny
  14. Ronan Murphy
  15. Mark Mallard
  16. Fynn Osborne
  17. Chelsea Herbert
  18. Todd Foster
  19. Will Morton
  20. Rianna O'Meara Hunt
  21. Sam Cotterill


Friday Practice - Session 3

1. Brock Gilchrist
2. Rowan Shepherd
3. Hugo Allan
4. Justin Allen
5. John Penny
6. Todd Prujean
7. Simon Evans
8. Matthew McCutcheon
9. Ronan Murphy
10. Zac Stichbury
11. Dion Pitt
12 Marco Giltrap.
13. Mark Mallard
14. Clay Osborne
15. Christina Orr-West
16. Todd Foster
17. Chelsea Herbert
18. Fynn Osborne
19. Rianna O'Meara Hunt
20. Will Morton
21. Sam Cotterill