Home Formula RegionalFRegional Oceania Mardenborough shines amidst Auer domination in Friday practice

Mardenborough shines amidst Auer domination in Friday practice

by Valentin Khorounzhiy

An incident-packed Friday at Timaru International Raceway saw multiple drivers go under the existing lap record of 57.977 (set by Mitch Evans in 2010) in the practice sessions for the Toyota Racing Series championship.

The first practice session saw a tightly-fought battle for first place that eventually saw Lucas Auer come out on top with a late time of 58.003 seconds. Locals Damon Leitch and Nick Cassidy were less than a tenth slower in second and third respectively (as was Alex Lynn, who finished the session in fourth), while Bruno Bonifacio rounded up the top five. The session set the tone for the rest of the day as Spike Goddard went off at turn five, hitting a wall and ending his session early.

Session two saw an incident happen right away as Bonifacio hit the tyre wall at turn five and was out of the session, the collision bringing out a red flag. Throughout the run, Steijn Schothorst, Goddard and Andrew Tang all spun at turn one at some point, but it was Michael Scott‘s incident at, yet again, turn five, that caused a second red flag and ended the session early. With all of that, session two produced a shocker of a result as rookie Jann Mardenborough topped the timesheets, with a spectacular under-the-record time of 57.880 seconds. Auer and Cassidy were ever close by, in second and third respectively, while Nicholas Latifi and Felix Serralles? completed the top five.

Session three followed a similar pattern – early on, an incident at (you guessed it!) turn five involving Leitch ended Friday practice for him and then the session was prematurely stopped after a second red flag, caused by Goddard running into Latifi. In between the accidents, Auer and Cassidy put on a show, one-upping each other’s times, with Auer coming out on top by two thousandths of a second. Schothorst’s best lap of the weekend so far put him in third with Lynn and Serralles rounding up the top five.

Combined Standings
Pos Driver Team Session 1 Session 2 Session 3 PB Pos
1 Lucas Auer Giles Motorsport 58.003s 58.049s 57.565s 1
2 Nick Cassidy M2 Competition 58.084s 58.128s 57.567s 2
3 Steijn Schothorst M2 Competition 58.679s 58.544s 57.793s 3
4 Alex Lynn M2 Competition 58.098s 58.456s 57.852s 4
5 Jann Mardenborough ETEC Motorsport 58.508s 57.880s 58.089s 1
6 Felix Serralles Giles Motorsport 58.140s 58.450s 58.013s 5
7 Damon Leitch Victory Motor Racing 58.053s 58.651s 58.586s 2
8 Bruno Bonifacio Giles Motorsport 58.129s 58.683s 58.073s 5
9 Pipo Derani Giles Motorsport 58.222s 58.767s 58.200s 7
10 Tanart Satienthirakul ETEC Motorsport 58.915s 59.083s 58.299s 9
11 Nicholas Latifi Giles Motorsport 58.570s 58.351s 58.393s 4
12 Michael Scott Victory Motor Racing 58.562s 59.054s 59.095s 9
13 Dennis Olsen M2 Competition 59.392s 59.282s 58.790s 12
14 Andrew Tang ETEC Motorsport 59.044s 58.798s 58.921s 11
15 Tatiana Calderon ETEC Motorsport 58.838s 59.239s 58.991s 12
16 Akash Nandy ETEC Motorsport 58.855s 59.172s 58.848s 13
17 Spike Goddard M2 Competition 59.401s 59.291s 58.926s 15
18 Ryan Cullen M2 Competition 59.581s 59.576s 1m00.010s 18

Times in bold denote quickest times of the day for given driver.
Times in italics denote quickest times in a given session