Glenn Smith and Damon Leitch topped this afternoon’s official three-hour practice at Levels Raceway, though it was their rivals who set the fastest time of the day.
Smith and Leitch’s (McLaren 650S GT3) lap of 59.250 was two-tenths faster than Anthony Leighs and Tom Alexander in the Nissan GT-R GT3.
However, Leighs and Alexander stopped the clock at 58.766s in an earlier test session.
Both cars are the favourites to challenge for pole position tomorrow morning. Though Allan Dippie and Scott O’Donnell (Porsche 991 GT3R) were on the fringe of breaking the 60s barrier today.
Nick Ross and Sam Collins (MARC II V8) and Hayden Paddon and Martin Dippie (Porsche 991) looked strong after their DNFs in round one. Both cars were in the top five in practice.
Points leaders Chris van der Drift and Lance Hughes are stuck in the Waikato and will miss this weekend.
Ryan Wood aims to become the first Porsche Cup car to lap under sixty seconds in qualifying tomorrow.
The series rookie and one-hour Class C and D points leader broke the existing one-hour lap record in practice today.
His time of 1.00.979 during official practice was six-tenths quicker than Jarrod Owens. Marco Schelp and the Chris/Johnny Small entry were within a second of Wood.
Jordan Michels was the fastest non-Porsche entry, ending up fifth in practice.
Highlands winner of the Class A and B one-hour Andre Simon (Toyota 86) began where he left off.
Despite having never raced a lap at Levels, Simon narrowly topped the official practice. His best lap was 0.016s faster than Mike Hall (VW Golf GTi).
Hall also racked up a solid 30 laps in the session, two shy of James Paterson who’s 32 tours were the most of anyone.
Scott O’Donnell was a further 0.180s behind Simon, suggesting tomorrow’s qualifying is all to play for.
Rhys Gould (Hyundai i30 N TCR) set the day’s quickest time in the class A and B field during an earlier testing session – a 1.04 206.
Gould’s transponder was not working for the official practice session but he was reportedly lapping at a similar pace.
Due to power steering issues, the second V8-powered Toyota 86 of Grant and Ben Williams have withdrawn from tomorrow’s race.