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


Best Bars Toyota 86 Championship Shaping Up To Be Another Classic

Simon Evans left the second round of the Best Bars Toyota 86 Championship with the series lead, but the 2021 season already looks to have the makings of a classic.

Great racing was the feature of the second weekend of the Best Bars Toyota 86 Championship. Picture Bruce Jenkins

Evans has a slight lead over Ryan Wood, who has won three races as Evans has in the first two rounds - at the NZ Grand Prix meeting and at the weekend's TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Festival. Rowan Shepherd, who came away from the weekend with the round win after three fine race performances but no wins, is almost certainly going to be a championship contender as the title fight progresses. So too is Brock Gilchrist who has all the pace of the front three and is just 20 points behind Shepherd.

"It's definitely looking like it's going to be a competitive season fought out between the up and coming youngsters and the more experienced racers like Evans, and to a degree, Shepherd," said category manager Geoff Short. "The three races on the National circuit at the weekend were fascinating."

In the first Wood won convincingly from pole position, while in the second reverse top ten format battle, Evans came through to win. He also won the third race, a nose to tail duel from start to finish with Shepherd doing enough in second to win the round and Wood in hot pursuit in third.

"Simon still reckons there is more to come from the car and himself so his wins have been all the more impressive as they have also highlighted his considerable skill in retaining a lead under pressure," added Short.

"But it’s really too close to call and there's certainly at least four in it at this stage."

Marco Giltrap is the standout rookie after two rounds, benefitting from team mate Evans input but also clearly showing he has plenty of raw pace and some great racecraft. John Penny leads the masters’ class after an impressive return to the category. He was at the sharp end all weekend at Hampton Downs and led Race 2 in style until edged out of the top places. Penny is another who can be expected to challenge for top places, and indeed race wins, as he dials himself back into the Toyota 86 groove.

With drivers of the calibre of Christina Orr-West, Justin Allen, Alexandra Whitley - who also led a race at the weekend - Ronan Murphy and endurance champion Tayler Bryant also in the field, the third round at Manfeild Circuit Chris Amon in two weeks should provide another classic encounter. Any of them could step into the championship mix.

Best Bars Toyota 86 Championship - Points after two rounds

1 Simon Evans 408
2 Ryan Wood 384
3 Rowan Shepherd 375
4 Brock Gilchrist 355
5 Marco Giltrap 295
6 John Penny 264
7 Ronan Murphy 258
8 Christina Orr-West 210
9 Justin Allen 193
10 Todd Foster 180
11 Alexandra Whitley 172
12 Tayler Bryant 165
13 Mark Mallard 159
14 Tony Austin 158
15 Brian Scott 68

© 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