Bewley Looking To End Summer Break With More Wins
Championship leader Tom Bewley will be looking to stay on top of the 23-car field of drivers as they make their annual trek to the Manawatu circuit which has produced so many closely fought races in the championship’s 11-year history.
Bewley will be aiming to maintain his early form at Manfeild. Picture Bruce Jenkins.
Bewley – a highly-rated young racer mentored by no less than Kiwi motorsport icon Scott McLaughlin - won two out of three races at the first round back in November at Taupo and looks like a clear title challenger in his second season in the category.
It’s not going to be straightforward, however, with the likes of Hunter Robb, William Exton, Tayler Bryant, Justin Allen, Jackson Rooney, Hayden Bakkerus and Australian Lockie Bloxsom all breathing down his neck. And that’s before you factor in fast Masters John Penny and Christina Orr-West.
Penny is a constant top ten and often top five player, while Orr-West scored a podium at Manfeild a couple of seasons ago and always go well at the track.
Lap times will be close – more often than not the top 15 drivers are covered by less than a second per lap - and fans can look forward to side-by-side action and fierce competition in the three races this weekend.
Picking a winner in such a competitive field isn’t easy but expect Justin Allen to be near the front on his home track and all of the first round stars to be looking to stamp their mark on a championship still in its early stages.
All will be searching for three decent results from the races too, given one non-finish or poor result can have a major bearing on final championship positions.
“It’s extremely competitive out there and there’s no margin for error for anyone looking to put together a championship challenge, which of course accounts for about half of the field or more this season,” explained Category Manager Amanda Tollemache.
“It’s exciting and genuinely unpredictable in a field of drivers so evenly matched. The motorsport fans in Manawatu, and there are many, are in for a real treat.”
Friday practice will be followed by qualifying and the first race on Saturday before two races on Sunday.
2023-2024 Toyota 86 Championship
Round 1 – November 17-19 – Taupo International Motorsport Park
Round 2 – January 26-28 – Manfeild - Circuit Chris Amon
Round 3 – February 9-11 – Euromarque Motorsport Park
Round 4 – February 16-18 – Highlands Motorsport Park – NZ Grand Prix
Round 5 – March 15-17 – Hampton Downs Motorsport Park
Round 6 – April 19-21 – Taupo International Motorsport Park - Supercars