Australia’s Christian Mansell has continued from Friday’s fast practice pace to claim pole for the season-opening Castrol Toyota Formula Regional Oceania Championship race at Taupo International Motorsport Park.
Mansell’s 1:26.763 came late on a rapidly evolving track, with a late red flag, the second of two in the session, preventing any final times from challenging.
M2 Competition’s Roman Bilinski secures a front-row start, with teammate Gerrard Xie qualifying third.
Liam Sceats placed the best of the Kiwis and will start fourth, one place ahead of Kaleb Ngatoa, who lines up next to Michael Shin in fifth.
Alex Crosbie starts from the fourth row in seventh, directly ahead of Kaden Prabst in ninth.
Wet conditions greeted competitors at the start of the session, but the rain had cleared, and the track quickly began to dry early in the 15-minute run.
Patrick Woods-Toth came to a stop on track five minutes into qualifying, bringing out an early red flag, but was able to return to the pits under his own power shortly after.
Australia’s Tommy Smith led the way at the first interruption with a 1:30.784, a time that was quickly overcome as competitors returned to the drying track.
There was an off-track moment for Nicola Lacorte at Turn 11 after 10 minutes of running, but the Alpine Academy driver did well to prevent the car stranding and continued to qualify 12th.
Titus Sherlock was not so lucky in the final minute, coming to a standstill at the same place which brought an early end to the session.
Most of the field had begun or were beginning final flyers at this time, with the interruption preventing a late shuffle of the order.
The Toyota Formula Regional Oceania Championship returns to the track for Saturday’s sole race at 4.12 pm, which will be streamed live on Sky Sport.
|Landan Matriano Lim
|Patrick Woods Toth
Header Image: Neville Bailey