The Best Bars Toyota 86 Championship is set for a thrilling day of racing after championship challenger Ryan Wood outpaced series leader Rowan Shepherd to claim pole position for Sunday’s first race.
Wood was first to hit top speed in the blue Wholesale Cars Direct TR86 with a lap time under 1 minute 18 after three minutes before lowering the mark for the next few laps and clocking the fastest time of the day with a 1 minute 17 second dead lap and then setting a blistering 1 minute 16.88 lap.
Evans went for a quick lap early too in his Wet and Forget car and popped up in second, the two championship rivals ahead of series leader Rowan Shepherd at that stage.
At the halfway point of the session Wood had an advantage of almost half a second over Evans and Shepherd with Ronan Murphy an eye-catching fourth for Dayle ITM and early Saturday pace setter Brock Gilchrist in fifth for CareVets.
It looked set to stay that way until the final few seconds when Shepherd pulled out a big lap to get ahead of Evans and secure an important front row starting position.
Behind the fast five fast rookie Marco Giltrap picked up a good tow in the dying moments in his Lexus TR86 to leapfrog Christina Orr-West to take sixth, leaving the Dayle ITM racer in seventh.
Pukekohe specialist Alexandra Whitley saved her best lap until the final few minutes of the session to line up eighth. John Penny and Tayler Bryant rounded out the top ten, Bryant continuing his improved form at a track he knows well.
The twenty minute qualifying session concluded the Toyota 86 action for Saturday with all three races set for Sunday in a busy day of racing for the 12 competitors.