YARDLEY SHOWING FINE FORM IN TOYOTA 86
Two race wins for CareVets driver Ryan Yardley — and one for his teammate Jack Milligan — handed the team a clean sweep at the fourth round of the Toyota 86 Championship at Teretonga recently. With the season drawing to a climax with just two rounds to run at the New Zealand Grand Prix at Manfeild, and the final at Hampton Downs, time is running out for Yardley’s closest challenger, Reid Harker.
The Teretonga weekend began well for championship leader Yardley, who won the first race after an early battle with Harker. In the second race of the weekend, Jaden Ransley had pole thanks to an eight-car reverse grid drawn by race-one winner, Yardley. Off the start, he defended from a hard-charging Andy Knight through most of a lap, but was then swamped by Knight, Milligan, and Jacob Smith and was buried in the pack, having started eighth.
Behind the leaders, Mike Lightfoot — who had unlocked some real speed in Saturday’s race — ran unsighted in the drizzle, swept past Miles Cockram into turn one, then sledged off the road and rolled the SEW Eurodrive car in a gravel trap, fortunately with no damage to the driver and only minor cosmetic damage to the car. Once the green machine had been recovered, the race resumed with Knight leading, though he soon came under attack from Milligan.
Knight lost the lead to Milligan, with Smith also following the CareVets car and stepping up to second overall. Out front Milligan was in control, and he was never headed, taking his first Toyota 86 Championship race win. Smith was second — which was his best finish in the championship — while Knight was third, and Ransley had held on to fourth in a determined drive.
In the final race of the weekend, Yardley put in a sensational drive to carve through the field, overtaking Michael Scott in an absolute thriller.