Rowan Shepherd put together a strong performance at Hampton Downs Motorsport Park for the third round of the Toyota 86 Series to narrow the championship gap to leader Simon Evans to just 18 points.
Shepherd heads into the fourth round of the championship this weekend hoping to continue to narrow the championship lead. Both drivers have completed many laps at Pukekohe, in a variety of cars.
Evans goes into the round hoping to continue his strong qualifying run while improving on the race pace his Giltrap Racing team entry had at Hampton Downs.
The strong performance at Hampton Downs could give Shepherd momentum at the championship fight continues at Pukekohe.
The programme for this weekend has been condensed to two days leaving little room for error, with three practice sessions and qualifying on Friday ahead of three races on Saturday. The condensed schedule leaves little time for repairs or major setup changes.
John Penny has been a strong competitor this season taking two reverse grid wins so far this season, but the outright speed he has shown could see him becoming a threat in all three races this weekend.
Hugo Allan will likely be in the fight for podium finishes, the rookie has consistently put together strong performances, but the most recent round at Hampton Downs saw him cross the line inside the top ten for all four races, including a podium finish.
Justin Allen, rookie Dion Pitt, and Marco Giltrap are all in the hunt for their first win of the season, Pitt came close to picking up a win at Hampton Downs, losing it on the line to Penny.
Giltrap had a strong run at the South Island tracks but was further back in the field at Hampton Downs.
Matthew McCutcheon and Christina Orr-West have been improving all season, and are likely to continue doing so at Pukekohe this weekend. McCutcheon looks set to become a regular in the fight for podium results.
Orr-West has experience at Pukekohe in a variety of cars and put together a strong performance in the last round coming from the back of the field to finish just outside the top ten.
Main image: Toyota 86