Charlie Wurz maintained his strong form in the Castrol Toyota Formula Regional Oceania Championship second round at Teretonga, beating the challenge from local Kiwi drivers to secure his first pole position in New Zealand.
A strong run of fast laps around a track slower than Saturday qualifying saw Wurz clock a best of 54.053 seconds around the short, fast track and that was enough to eclipse the challenges of home favourites Callum Hedge, James Penrose and Liam Sceats.
“Conditions were tricky the track was around half a second slower than yesterday,” he said. “I made a few mistakes and I wasn’t sure what the gap was. I rested the car a bit more and went for it and it’s great to take my first pole position.”
Hedge popped his best lap in on his final tour, saying afterwards the car had felt a little loose. Penrose was solid throughout the session and topped the times for a while. Sceats was another to save his best to last and might have gone even faster but for an excursion across the grass later in the session.
Jacob Abel ran strongly again and was the top of the United States racers in the series with fifth fastest time from the 15-minute session. Team mate at Kiwi Motorsport Josh Mason – who he had a fantastic battle with in Saturday’s race – will start alongside him again after finishing just a tenth behind and sixth fastest.
Ryan Shehan and David Morales will line up on the fourth row for the afternoon’s feature race in seventh and eighth place respectively with the top ten completed by Ryder Quinn in ninth and an improved Tom McLennan in tenth place. On a tricky day in terms of predicting where the grip was, that top ten was covered by just nine tenths of a second, emphasising again how competitive the field in the New Zealand championship is.
The feature race – for the Spirit of a Nation Cup – will be the last race of the weekend at the Invercargill track and will be run over 30 laps. Before that there is the weekend’s second race which features a grid of the top eight from yesterday’s race starting in reverse order and that puts Shehan and Quinn on the front row.
Round Two – Qualifying 2 results:
Main image: Bruce Jenkins | Words: Supplied