Home Featured Igor Fraga prevails in close battle for New Zealand GP pole

Igor Fraga prevails in close battle for New Zealand GP pole

by Bethonie Waring

Photo: Toyota Racing NZ

Igor Fraga narrowly beat Caio Collet to take pole for the season-ending New Zealand Grand Prix in the Toyota Racing Series.

The M2 Competition driver managed a 1m2.706s lap to end the session just 0.004s ahead of MTEC Motorsport by R-ace GP’s Collet, with title rival and M2 team-mate Liam Lawson qualifying third a further 0.014s behind.

Qualifying was disrupted twice in the opening five minutes when New Zealand GP veteran Kenny Smith first span then ran off at Higgens Corner, both times bringing out the red flag.

As nobody had set a competitive lap time before the incidents, the session was effectively reduced to a 10 minute shootout.

Fraga set the initial pace, but team-mate Ido Cohen and Collet both took the top spot as lap times tumbled.

Championship leader Lawson left it to the final five minutes of the session before jumping to the top of the order with a 1m02.724s lap around Manfeild, ahead of impressive Kiwi Motorsport duo Spike Kohlbecker and Franco Colapinto.

Fraga managed to shave 0.2s off Lawson?s time with his final lap of the session, putting himself ahead with less than two minutes on the clock.

Lawson was knocked down to third when Collet found improvements and, though he had time for one more lap, a small mistake early in the lap meant he couldn?t better his time.

Title outsider Colapinto will join him on the second row, with fifth placed Kohlbecker just 0.062s off pole.


Qualifying results
Pos Name Team Time
1 Igor Fraga M2 Competition 1m02.706s
2 Caio Collet MTEC by R-ace GP +0.004s
3 Liam Lawson M2 Competition +0.018s
4 Franco Colapinto Kiwi Motorsport +0.046s
5 Spike Kohlbecker Kiwi Motorsport +0.062s
6 Petr Ptacek MTEC by R-ace GP +0.194s
7 Ido Cohen M2 Competition +0.247s
8 Lucas Petersson MTEC by R-ace GP +0.256s
9 Yuki Tsunoda M2 Competition +0.259s
10 Jackson Walls MTEC by R-ace GP +0.278s
11 Gregoire Saucy Giles Motorsport +0.324s
12 Oliver Rasmussen MTEC by R-ace GP +0.435s
13 Lirim Zendeli Giles Motorsport +0.532s
14 Henning Enqvist Giles Motorsport +0.594s
15 Tijmen van der Helm Kiwi Motorsport +0.611s
16 Emilien Denner M2 Competition +0.657s
17 Axel Gnos Kiwi Motorsport +0.724s
18 Rui Andrade M2 Competition +0.746s
19 Kenny Smith Giles Motorsport no time