Canadian Patrick-Woods Toth showed he will be a force this weekend in the fourth round of the 2024 Castrol Toyota Formula Regional Oceania Championship at Ruapuna in Christchurch, topping both half-hour sessions.
Woods-Toth left it late in the second session to pip championship leader Roman Bilinski to the fastest time, with his very quick 1:17.947 lap beating the series leader’s best by just under a tenth of a second.
Woods-Toth was also fastest in Test Session 1, with the margin to Bilinski just over a tenth.
Series returnee and Indy NXT racer Jacob Abel had a fine day back in the seat of an FT60. Abel, who was third overall in the 2023 championship, is competing in the final two rounds of the 2024 championship and was quickly back up to speed in the Formula Regional car used in Castrol Toyota FR Oceania.
In the first session, the MTEC Motorsport racer clocked the third fastest time behind Woods-Toth and Bilinski and followed that up with another top ten in the second session.
Kiwis Kaleb Ngatoa – winner last time out at Hampton Downs, Alex Crosbie, Liam Sceats, Sebastian Manson and Kaden Probst filled places fourth to eighth on the time sheet for P1. Manson is testing ahead of a debut in next weekend’s 68th New Zealand Grand Prix and settled in quickly in the Giles Motorsport Entry.
Kiwi Motorsport’s Titus Sherlock and M2 Competition’s Michael Shin rounded out the top ten in the first session.
Behind Woods-Toth and Bilinski in Test Session 02, Liam Sceats indicated he’ll remain a threat to Bilinski this weekend with the third fastest time, while Sherlock improved on his Test Session 01 form to take fourth. Crosbie, Manson and Ngatoa were there again in fifth, sixth and seventh, with Ryder Quinn – another to be racing at next week’s NZGP – eighth. Abel clocked ninth best time while Probst was tenth, just over a second off Bilinski’s benchmark.
Official practice begins tomorrow with Bilinski aiming to take his championship lead one step beyond leading chaser Sceats. Three races over the forthcoming weekend climax with the iconic Lady Wigram Trophy race on Sunday afternoon.