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Bewley Takes Important Win In Christchurch

Tom Bewley scorched to a vital win in Christchurch. Picture Bruce Jenkins.

Tom Bewley took an important win in a closely fought second race at the Euromarque Motorsport Park today, and it was enough for him to retake the championship lead by just ten points from Hunter Robb.

Bewley was unstoppable – even by a flying William Exton - as he drove away to win, but Saturday winner Robb got bogged down and ended up seventh. The gap was enough to propel Tom back into the championship lead and he was delighted.

“I knew I had to get my elbows out in that one and just move forward and I managed to do that,” said Bewley on the podium afterwards.

“I saw Will coming but just had my eyes forward and focussed on the win.”

The reverse grid format based on Saturday’s results put veteran John Penny on pole position but JP didn’t make the greatest getaway and it was Cormac Murphy who won the race to the first turn and led the field from Australia’s Lockie Bloxsom.

Behind them the field were two and three abreast for the whole of the first lap and by the end of it when everyone watching managed to catch their breath, it was Murphy from Bloxsom, Tom Bewley, Exton, Hayden Bakkerus, Jackson Rooney, Penny, Jaden Ransley, Justin Allen, Brooklyn Horan and the rest of a tightly matched field.

Bewley was flying and was quickly past Bloxsom and on the tail of Murphy and he was able to overtake him a few corners later to take the lead inside of the two lap marker.

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Rooney meanwhile, was lucky to escape contact from the field after a spin on the second lap, but that dropped him out of contention.

At the front, Bewley made a quick getaway but an impressive Murphy was enjoying the challenge and was the fastest on the track as he chased the leader. These two had built a gap to the pack by the end of lap three but after that, Murphy started to fall away and would be forced to have one eye on his mirrors as well as his lines.

As the laps counted down the race settled a little at the front but Tom kept the pressure on - slowly edging away and proving he was as quick on his own at the front as he was when in traffic.

Bloxsom, Ransley, Exton and Bakkerus, meanwhile, were enjoying a fierce battle further back. And even further back than that, Hunter Robb was stuck in ninth, unable to make the progress he would have liked.

Exton was the man to watch in the final stages of the race, winning the dogfight for third before catching and passing Murphy quickly for second. He then set off after Bewley at a rapid pace, but left himself a little too much to do. Ransley also got past Murphy for third – after yet another absorbing battle - and that was the order of the top four as they took the flag. Both Ransley and Murphy could be well pleased with their race performances given the hugely competitive nature of this year’s big 22 car field.

Bakkerus came home a solid fifth, while Allen survived a frenetic race to take sixth ahead of Robb in an eventual seventh and Horan in eighth. Bloxsom fell back to ninth and Penny rounded out the top ten of a spectacular race.

2023-2024 Toyota 86 Championship – R3 Christchurch – Race 2

14Tom BewleyMackenzie Motorsport
242William ExtonRace Lab Drivers Academy
353Jaden RansleyJaden Ransley Motorsport
481Cormac MurphyRace Lab Drivers Academy
520Hayden BakkerusMacKenzie Motorsport
699Justin AllenAllen Racing Team
769Hunter RobbAction Motorsport
889Brooklyn HoranMacKenzie Motorsport
923Lockie BloxsomiMac Race Engineering
1022John PennyAction Motorsport
1173Harry TownshendBayswater Motorsport
1275Tayler BryantAction Motorsport
1355Christina Orr-WestDayle ITM Racing
143Alice BuckleyRace Lab Drivers Academy
1587Summer RintouleAction Motorsport
1657Saxon SheehanJames Marshall Motorsport
1750Ryan DenizeMacKenzie Motorsport
188Thomas MallardCrème Racing
1988Noel SimpsonAction Motorsport
2011William MortoniMac Race Engineering
217Tim LeachWinger Motorsport
NC30Jackson RooneyRace Lab Drivers Academy

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

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