Justin Allen has taken his maiden Toyota 86 race win in the first race of the weekend at Pukekohe Park Raceway.
Allen and reigning champion Rowan Shepherd were in a tight battle as Shepherd tried to hold onto the lead of the race.
Allen followed Shepherd from the early stages of the race, putting pressure on the reigning champion from lap three, briefly taking the lead on lap five before Shepherd took it back, thorough he wasn’t able to pull away from the pack.
With less than two laps remaining Allen again made a pass for the lead, this time it would stick, despite the pressure from Shepherd behind, attempting to regain the lead.
Allen had been strong in practice and qualifying, finishing near the top of the timesheets in every session.
“That’s great for the team. I knew he wouldn’t give up after I tried the move the first time so I had to be even more committed the next time,” Allen said after the race.
“It wasn’t Rowan being slower, I just had to give it everything to have a chance of getting past him. Thankfully it stuck and I came out ahead and managed to hang on. I want this to be a three-way battle for the title not a two-way one, the car was excellent and I’m ready for the second race. Bring it on.”
Championship leader Simon Evans crossed the line in third, close behind the leaders but not able to capitalise on their battle.
Brock Gilchrist finished the race in fourth, after passing Marco Giltrap and closing in on the leader’s battle. However, a post-race penalty dropped him to eighth in the results.
After Gilchrist got past, Giltrap had a battle with Hugo Allan, who eventually made a pass to sit fifth at the end of the race with Giltrap in sixth.
John Penny had another strong race crossing the line in seventh, after starting from 13th on the grid.
Ronan Murphy, Matthew McCutcheon and Fynn Osborne rounded out the top 10 crossing the line in eighth, ninth and 10th respectively.
2022 TOYOTA 86 CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND 4 – PUKEKOHE – RACE 1
|1||99||Justin ALLEN||International Motorsport|
|2||1||Rowan SHEPHERD||Action Motorsport|
|3||4||Simon EVANS||Giltrap Group Motorsport|
|4||23||Hugo ALLAN||The Heart of Racing|
|5||84||Marco GILTRAP||Giltrap Group Motorsport|
|6||22||John PENNY||Action Motorsport|
|7||91||Ronan MURPHY||Action Motorsport|
|8||10||Brock GILCHRIST||CareVets Racing|
|9||96||Matthew MCCUTCHEON||Action Motorsport|
|10||14||Fynn OSBORNE||James Marshall Motorsport|
|11||55||Christina ORR WEST||Dayle ITM|
|12||74||Todd PRUJEAN||Todd Prujean Motorsport|
|13||15||Clay OSBORNE||James Marshall Motorsport|
|14||72||Zac STICHBURY||Mackenzie Motorsport|
|15||5||Dion PITT||Action Motorsport|
|16||8||Mark MALLARD||Mark Mallard Racing|
|17||25||Chelsea HERBERT||The Heart of Racing|
|18||222||Todd FOSTER||International Motorsport|
|19||9||Sam COTTERILL||International Motorsport|
|20||52||Rianna O’MEARA-HUNT||The Heart of Racing|