Toyota 86 top guns Brock Gilchrist and Rylan Gray have made a great start to their prize weekend at the ADAC GT4 Germany event at the Nürburgring, ending the test day solidly in the top ten on times in the competitive GT4 field.
The champion and top rookie settled in quickly, working well with their engineers, and Gray was able to go 13th fastest on his very first stint in the first test session. Gilchrist put the GR Supra GT4 EVO in sixth position for the second test session.
After a few adjustments to their driving, Gray went eighth fastest in a competitive field of 27 cars in the last session – just 0.164 seconds off the fastest time. The GR Supra GT4 EVO has also shown its outright pace, clocking the fastest speed trap times too.
“Today we had some very good pace immediately in the first session and that was in changeable conditions so it was a great start,” explained Brock after a busy day. “In the last two sessions, we were consistently in the top ten.”
The last session included a simulated qualifying run which was when the boys clocked their best time. It was their first experience on new Pirelli slick tyres and left quite an impression.
“I was very surprised we were so close to the pace on the simulated qualifying run,” added Brock. “The new tyres felt amazing and it’s great to be able to run on a full slick tyre and the performance that brings.”
Gray too was pleased with the day’s work and is optimistic they can find a little more for qualifying.
“It feels pretty awesome to be in the top ten after testing and it feels special to be close to the leaders. The new tyre felt very different to anything I have driven before and it took a couple of laps but it had a lot of grip.
“There’s definitely more time in me at least, especially in the second sector. It’s very competitive out there, but I think we can definitely improve, and I’m looking forward to qualifying and getting the racing underway.”
TOYOTA GAZOO Racing New Zealand Motorsport Manager Nico Caillol says the boys have settled in well and performed even better than he expected.
“It’s very impressive that they are that close to the fastest time for their first time on the track and first time in the car,” he said. “Looking at the data they can potentially go even quicker still. We’re all looking forward to qualifying to see how they go. It’s going to be very interesting.”
The two are racing the latest specification GR Supra GT4 EVO run by KCMG in the full GT4 field as their prize for winning overall and rookie titles in the 2023 Toyota 86 Championship. The high-profile motorsport weekend also features the DTM and the Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland.
Two Free Practice sessions will be on their schedule for Friday (8.30 am-9.30 am and 1.25 pm-2.25 pm) before qualifying takes place Saturday evening NZ time, with the first one-hour race at 1 am NZ time on Sunday morning.
Words and Images: Supplied