Ryan Wood has kicked off his pursuit of the 2021 Best Bars Toyota 86 championship title by setting the pace in today’s practice at Taupo.
Wood’s best time – a 1.44.630s – was set in the morning session, edging out Simon Evans by one-tenth.
Championship leader Rowan Shepherd had a more muted day, only posting the ninth quickest lap in practice.
Seven points separate Shepherd, Wood and Evans, with all vying for this year’s championship.
Dayle ITM Racing’s Ronan Murphy was a factor among the front runners. Murphy set the fourth fastest lap on the combined standings and topped the day’s second session, a strong omen as he attempts to snare his maiden race win.
However, it was 16-year-old rookie Hugo Allan made headlines today with an eye-catching start to his Toyota 86 career.
With only a season of karting to his name and three days of testing, Allan was seventh fastest in his first official Toyota 86 practice session.
Allan followed up his strong start with a fourth-place in practice two and then sixth in the afternoon session.
A competitive sim-racer, Allan has a graduate of the Hampton Downs Racing Academy and was coached through today alongside mentor and former champion Tom Alexander.
There will be three races over the weekend, with the first scheduled to start tomorrow at 3 pm.
TR 86 combined practice times: