Saturday, Feb 15 09:21am
AUTHOR: Zane Shackleton

Friday Notebook Manfeild

Round Five of the Castrol Toyota Racing Series and a champion will be crowned this weekend. Can New Zealand once again halt the relentless pressure of Jaylyn Robotham, and what is in store for the third round of the BNT V8 championship?

Also joining the Speedworks programme is the ENZED Central Muscle Cars and the D1NZ drifting championship.

• Dutch Teenager Tijmen van der Helm was the fastest of everyone in yesterday’s practice sessions ahead of the Round Five of the Castrol Toyota Racing Series.

• The weekend also plays host to the prestigious New Zealand Grand Prix, first raced back in 1950 at Ohakea Circuit and won by John McMillan under Formula Libre rules.

• Van der Helm was absent for the first half of the season owing to be under the minimum required age of 16.

• The Kiwi Motorsport entry was consistently quick across the day, finishing in the top two for all three sessions.

• Van der Helm’s fastest time of the day was 1.03.1832, nearly four-tenths ahead of second fastest Lucas Petersson.

• Giles Motorsport’s latest entry is no stranger to the Grand Prix antics. Motorsport legend Kenny Smith will be entering his 49th Grand Prix.

• The immortal man spent most of the day getting up to speed on the all-new FT60 chassis and engine package.

• Once again, the true speed of M2 Competition’s, and title rivals, Liam Lawson and Igor Fraga were held under a cloud of mystery. The team focusing on race setup and management compared to outright one-lap pace.

• But it was a welcome change in tide for van der Helm after a lacklustre affair at Pukekohe Park last weekend. Albeit for a minor incident by running off into the gravel, the dutchman will be in an ecstasy of confidence as he prepares for qualifying Saturday morning.

• Peter Vodanovich led the kiwi charge in the final Toyota 86 session, topping the final practice session. Meanwhile, Conor Adam looked consistently quick as Australian title threat Jaylyn Robotham lurked around the top four.

• The fearsome, fire-breathing Ford Mustang of Angus Fogg was untouched in the final practice session of the ENZED Central Muscle Cars.

• Fogg’s time of a 1.10.611 all but confirms Fogg will be favourite for pole position come Saturday morning.

• Andre Heimgartner was a league of his own in the final practice session for round three of the BNT V8s.

• The Hamilton Motorsport’s entry topped both sessions with times buried well down into the 1.09’s to finish a second over teammate Lance Hughes in the afternoon’s test.