A late lap by Matthew Payne in the final session had the Toyota Racing Series rookie end today’s practice day at Hampton Downs at the top of the timesheets.
Payne posted a 1.01.393 midway through the final 30-minute session to pip Kaleb Ngatoa for the top spot.
While none of today’s three sessions had any championship implications, the times set today gave a good indication of where everyone’s pace is relative to one another.
Interesting, it was a little over half-a-second that separated all seven drivers today, with each dipping below the 62s barrier.
Peter Vodanovich headed the timing screens in the first two sessions. The current Toyota 86 champion was immediately on the pace, posting a 1.01.546 in the opening practice.
That time would end by being Vodanovich’s best of the day and ultimately see him sit fourth on the combined lap times.
Second fastest was Ngatoa, whose 1.01.500 was a measly four-hundredths quicker than Vodanovich. Though the margin was even slimmer between Ngatoa and Billy Frazer, with the latter just 0.008s slower than his rival.
Only finding out he would be on the grid this weekend late yesterday afternoon, Tom Alexander was quickly on the pace.
He ended the practice two as the second-fastest driver, before setting the fifth fastest overall time in the final segment. Once again, the differences were minimal, with Alexander within one-tenth of Ngatoa.
Chris Vlok and Conrad Clark were sixth and seventh fastest, both within earshot of the leaders and improving on their lap times.
Tomorrow sees the field have a 15-minute qualifying scheduled for 8.50 am, with a pair of races across the day starting at 10.55 am and 3.20 pm.
Combined best practice times:
Images: Matthew Hansen