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.
|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