Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search


Aussie ace Robotham conquers Pukekohe at first attempt

Australian Jaylyn Robotham took out the first round of the Best Bars Toyota 86 Championship in style over the weekend at Pukekohe Park – the youngster taking two wins and a second place on his first visit to the circuit.

Less than a week after the conclusion of the Australian Toyota 86 Championship, where he finished sixth overall, Robotham was on a plane to New Zealand to race as a late entry in the New Zealand series, and his debut couldn’t have been more impressive.

“Yes, for sure it’s gone really well over the weekend considering it all came together so late,” he explained. “I’ve not actually done any simulator work around the track, but I have watched the Supercars race around here so just tried to learn the circuit as quickly as possible in Friday practice.

“There’s plenty of tough competition out there and I’ve got to remember that for me it’s going to be all new circuits in this championship but I’m definitely very happy to have taken two wins and a round win.”

It wasn’t all plain sailing for the Aussie over the two days of action, however. Experienced Kiwi Jaden Ransley in the Miles Toyota 86 showed he will be a major threat in the championship this season with pole position in qualifying and a win in the first race on Saturday. Along with Peter Vodanovich in the Nexen Chargers supported car, and Brock Gilchrist in the Nexus Logistics entry, the trio led the attack against the Aussie invader on Sunday and proved it’s going to be a very closely fought championship.

A field of 17 of the best up and coming young drivers from New Zealand and Australia headed out for first practice and sixteen made it through, providing great racing all the way. The only casualty was newcomer Todd Foster in his International Motorsport run car, who crashed in qualifying and was forced out of the racing action for the rest of the weekend.

Whilst Robotham shone, there were mixed fortunes for the two other racers out of the Australian series making the trip across the Tasman – Richard Peasey and James Wilkins. Peasey gradually made his way to the front of the midfield and was part of an epic battle in the final race, which gave him fifth and his best result of the weekend. Wilkins struggled initially but gradually improved to become a top ten contender by Sunday afternoon.

Of the rest of the Kiwi contenders, Campbell Stewart showed he has made a significant step forward in his second season of Toyota 86 racing, being a factor in the three races in the main chasing packs behind the big guns, while Justin Allen, Connor Adam, Connor Davison, Andrew Jackson and Leo Bult all had impressive moments.

The championship now heads to the South Island for rounds at Highlands Motorsport Park and Invercargill’s Teretonga Park. It then moves to the North Island for the New Zealand Grand Prix meeting at Manfeild - Circuit Chris Amon and then onto Hampton Downs before concluding with a non-championship race weekend at the Virgin Australia Supercars event at Pukekohe Park in April.

2019-2020 Best Bars Toyota 86 Championship

Round 1: Pukekohe Park - 29 November - 1 December 2019 (completed)
Round 2: Highlands Motorsport Park - 17-19 January 2020
Round 3: Teretonga Park - 24-26 January 2020
Round 4: Manfeild - Circuit Chris Amon - 14-16 February 2020
Round 5: Hampton Downs Motorsport Park - 27-29 March 2020
Round 6: V8 Supercars - Pukekohe Park - 24-26 April 2020 (non-championship)

© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis: Controlling the High Ground

Stephen Johnson's raw and angry film not only poses important questions with scrupulous authenticity, but also provides a timely reminder of the genocidal consequences of casual bigotry and xenophobia. More>>

Howard Davis: Dryzabone - Robert Conolly's The Dry

After the terrible devastation caused by last year’s bushfires, which prompted hundreds of Australians to shelter in the ocean to escape incineration and destroyed uncountable amounts of wildlife, The Dry has been released during a totally different kind of dry spell. More>>

Howard Davis: Benjamin Ree's The Painter and The Thief

The Norwegian filmmaker had long been fascinated by art thieves who commit high-stakes crimes with a delicate touch when a chance Google search in 2015 uncovered a botched heist in Oslo. More>>

Howard Davis: Hit the Road, Jack - Chloé Zhao's Nomadland

Nomadland is perhaps the ultimately 'road' movie as it follows a group of dispossessed and disenfranchised vagabonds who find a form of communal refuge in camp sites and trailer parks after the economic contraction of 2008. More>>

Howard Davis: Byrneing Down the House - Spike Lee's American Utopia

Lee does an admirable job capturing Byrne's stunning live performance of his latest album, but the real star of the show is the staging. More>>

Howard Davis: The Phoenix Foundation Friend Ship Tour Docks in Wellington

A sense of local pride was certainly running high at the Opera House on Saturday night, as the lads ran through a tasty little set drawn mostly from their latest album Friend Ship (splash out for Xmas on the shocking pink extra-thick vinyl edition). More>>



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland