John Penny has claimed the first pole position of his motorsport career in qualifying for the Toyota 86 Championship opener at Manfeild this morning.
Fast early laps proved crucial in the session, with Penny’s pole-setting lap of 1:20.355 coming in the opening minutes and pipping championship leader Tom Bewley by 0.096 seconds.
“I woke up feeling good about today and we knew we had a good car from testing on Friday,” said Penny afterwards after securing what is his first category pole position start.
“The front three of us in the group we were in at the beginning of the session got a decent tow but my lap was pretty good, I knew at the end of it I’d had it hooked it up on every corner but it’s still awesome to get pole position.”
There was little movement at the top of the time sheets in the second half of the session, with top rookie Hunter Robb continuing his strong run of form and claiming third on the grid, 0.110 seconds behind Bewley and 0.057 seconds ahead of Jackson Rooney.
William Exton and Cormac Murphy lock out the third row ahead of Harry Townshend, Justin Allen, Saxon Sheehan and Will Morton, who round out the top ten.
An extremely tight qualifying session saw the top 19 separated by less than one second.
A four-strong female contingent was topped by Australian Alice Buckley, who lines up 12th, while Christina Orr-West starts 12th, Summer Rintoule 18th and Breanna Morris 21st.
The opening race of the Toyota 86 Championship’s second round begins at 1.22 pm, with two further races on Sunday at 11.47 am and 1.38 pm, respectively.
All coverage is being shown live on Sky Sport 5.
Toyota 86 Championship Round 2 Race 1 Starting Grid
Header Image: Penny at Taupo. Image: Toyota Gazoo Racing (Bruce Jenkins)