It’s tight at the top in the Best Bars Toyota 86 Championship after Jaylyn Robotham claimed his second consecutive win at Teretonga Park.
Race 2 of the weekend pitted Robotham alongside Campbell Stewart on the front row. The second row saw Connor Adam paired with Peter Vodanovich. Just behind them, Jaden Ransley was alongside CareVets Scholarship winner Ryan Wood.
Initially it was Stewart who got the jump on Robotham, but the inside line allowed the Australian to get ahead and lead into Turn 1. Just behind them, Vodanovich swept around the outside of Adam to steal third.
The top three slipped away early on, but that soon changed. A mistake from Adam at Turn 3 on Lap 2 dropped him from fourth to 13th and out of contention for a podium.
Moments later, and Robotham was on the defence as Stewart sought to find a way through. A bad exit out of the hairpin allowed Stewart alongside Robotham and then Vodanovich joined in too to make it three-wide into Turn 1.
Stewart fell to third briefly as Vodanovich tried to go around the outside of Robotham. Stewart came back though and gave Vodanovich a hip check to get back into second place.
A big moment for Vodanovich nearly opened the door for fourth placed Ransley, but like Robotham, Vodanovich was resilient in defence. Meanwhile, Ransley and Wood looked threatening in fourth and fifth.
With five laps to go, Vodanovich got the exit out of the last corner and slingshot past Stewart for second place. Their brief battle allowed Robotham to edge away, but only for a few moments.
Todd Foster had a moment with four laps to go. He spun through Turn 2, but recovered to finish the race. Less fortunate with Richard Peasey, who had been on the fringe of the top five when he suddenly suffered mechanical issues.
Despite a valiant effort from Vodanovich, Robotham held on to take the win.
“I tried getting a gap, but it’s hard to break the tow here,” Robotham said after the race.
“I think the three behind me were quicker in that race. I was just covering my line without blocking too much.”
Third was Stewart and fourth was Ransley who went wide out of Turn 1 on the final lap while trying to usurp Stewart for the podium. Ryan Wood completed the top five.
Race 3 takes place at 2:30 pm local time.