Gilchrist in top form for season finale

Rylan (940 x 450)

Championship leader Brock Gilchrist put his marker down on the final weekend of the 2023 Toyota 86 Championship by topping two of Friday’s three practice sessions in challenging conditions at Hampton Downs.

Two of the day’s sessions were held in soaking wet conditions with the mid-day session a little drier. Gilchrist topped the second and third sessions proving he’s got plenty of pace in the wet and in damp to drying conditions.

His second fastest time in the day’s first session emphasized he’s in great shape for the weekend of racing ahead. Chief rivals Clay Osborne and Dion Pitt ended their days behind Gilchrist on pace, with Pitt emerging the more competitive finishing in the top five in each of the sessions.

Fastest in the first session was Australian sensation Rylan Gray (pictured) himself gunning for a major prize this weekend as leader of the Rookie championship. His first, second and fourth place classification in the three sessions will fill him with confidence for the weekend, which has a similar unsettled weather forecast. His only rival for the rookie crown, Tom Bewley, finished outside of the fastest ten in each of the sessions.

Hugo Allan went well on his return to the Toyota 86 Championship after a year away on the sidelines. He dusted off the cobwebs to put in an impressive day’s running, with third fastest time in the second session being the best of his runs.

Tayler Bryant once again hit the ground running with some very competitive times while top master John Penny was consistently in the top ten runners during the day.

Qualifying will be on Saturday morning with the first race in the afternoon. The last day of the championship on Sunday will feature the reverse top ten grid race on Sunday morning and the feature race on Sunday afternoon to round out the season.

Gilchrist has won nine races so far from the 15 in the previous five rounds of the 2023 championship – if he wins a tenth over the weekend he will become the driver with most wins in a season in the category’s history.