NZ Performance Car - - Circuit Talk -

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.

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