Rooney could be the man to beat on final championship weekend


Championship outsider Jackson Rooney confirmed he’ll be one of the pacesetters at Taupo International Motorsport Park this weekend after a blistering effort in second practice showed he has pace in hand.

Rooney put a stake in the ground with three fast laps before he unleashed a low 1 minute 43 second lap that put three tenths of a second between him and the rest.

In a field with the top twelve covered by a second, it was a significant effort.

Championship leader Tom Bewley would have been well satisfied with his second fastest time, with championship rivals William Exton on the sidelines as his car underwent an engine change and Hunter Robb down in ninth.

Lockie Bloxsom was fast throughout the session, throwing his car around the infield noticeably more aggressively than his rivals and finding plenty of speed in the process.

He ultimately finished third fastest ahead of Thomas Mallard who had his best session of the championship so far looking smooth and accomplished as he clocked fourth ahead of Hayden Bakkerus. Both could be potential dark horses in the big final weekend ahead.

Cormac Murphy was again in the top group clocking the sixth fastest time ahead of top Master Class runner John Penny and Will Morton in an impressive eighth. Robb and Harry Townshend completed the top ten.

It’s qualifying next for the Toyota 86 Championship field and it’s going to be a very important one. With such a small points gap between the top three in the championship – and in particular between Bewley and Exton, every tenth of a second and place on the grid is going to be vital.