Exton excites again at HIghlands


Man of the moment William Exton topped the times today at Highlands Motorsport Park with a lap around the 4.1km circuit close to Jaden Ransley’s 2019 lap record.

It was the best lap of the day – recorded in the cooler and faster first session of the day - and marked Exton as one of the favourites for the weekend after his mega previous weekend in Christchurch.

All of the main champion ship protagonists featured at some point of the day, championship leader Bewley, Hunter Robb, Exton, Justin Allen, Jackson Rooney while Australian Lockie Bloxsom was perhaps the most consistent of the day with three third fastest times across the day’s three sessions.

In the first session Exton was just ahead of Robb with  Bloxsom next up – the Australian Toyota 86 Scholarship champion showing fine form on his first visit to the Cromwell track.

Further back Thursday pacesetter Tom Bewley was happy with his early pace as the team tried a few set up changes. Saxon Sheehan and Cormac Murphy were on the pace throughout the 20 minute session.

Behind them Alice Buckley continued to show she’s the top woman in this year’s closely contested championship with a solid eighth.  And behind her Brooklyn Horan and Tim Leach showed they could be in the mix this weekend as well, lapping within a second of the fastest session time.

Robb was close to the lap record when he went fastest in session two just after lunch, getting into the 1 minute 52 second bracket after just two flying laps, but he wasn’t quite on the morning pace of Exton.

William, meanwhile, was there yet again in second, while Bloxsom continued to show he’s likely to be in the thick of the action over the weekend with another third fastest time. Behind them it was Bewley – looking ominous as he swapped set up changes for fast times – and Justin Allen.

Session three was the hottest of the day and Robb was the driver who topped it, this time ahead of Bewley, who’s day’s work on set up looked to have paid major dividends.

There was another third fastest time for Lockie Bloxsom while Tayler Bryant was also right in the mix in fourth. Allen rounded out a top five covered by a scant six tenths of a second.

Saturday will see the drivers begin the competitive part of the weekend with qualifying in the morning and the first race of the big New Zealand Grand Prix weekend in the afternoon.