Bewley heads Toyota 86 field in Highlands shakedown


Tom Bewley made his intentions clear for the big New Zealand Grand Prix weekend round of the Toyota 86 Championship at Highlands Motorsport Park this weekend with fastest time in two of three test sessions at the 4.1km Cromwell track.

Jackson Rooney topped the first session as Bewley got into his stride and he was the man in charge of the next two, although he only just pipped Christchurch round winner William Exton to take fastest time in the final session. And he did that twice – in both instances by less than one tenth of a second.

It virtually guarantees that it’s going to be another super competitive weekend in the 2023-2024 Toyota 86 Championship season.

Hunter Robb will want to be in the mix with Bewley, Exton and Rooney having lost the championship lead last weekend.

Two fifth fastest times and a third in the second session confirmed he’s just about on the pace but he’ll be keen to be right at the front in Friday’s practice sessions.

Lockie Bloxsom – the Australian Toyota 86 Scholarship champion – had a good day, with a fifth and fourth fastest time in the latter two sessions.

Rooney was competitive all day too and is sure to be a factor this weekend. Cormac Murphy started off third fastest and slipped back as the day wore on, while Thomas Mallard was another notable, breaking into the top ten in the final session.