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Amazing Bewley wins from eighth row of grid

A remarkable drive by Tom Bewley saw him take victory in the second race of the weekend at the Highlands Motorsport Park.

In the process he made a clear statement to the rest of the field that he’s the man they’ve all got to beat in this year’s Toyota 86 Championship.

Bewley overcame a big penalty from Saturday’s first race on his way to the famous win, the 15 second penalty having dropped him to row eight of the grid for Race 2. It took him just five laps to fight his way to the front and consolidate his championship lead.

A very late official race result for Race 1 on Sunday morning changed results at the front of the field dramatically and consequently the grid order for the reverse format Race 2. As well as Bewley being penalised, William Exton was given a five second penalty for a jumped start and ‘on the road’ race winner Hunter Robb was disqualified for a technical infringement relating to camber settings. It left all three with much to do in Sunday morning’s race.

Bewley responded with a stunning drive. “I didn’t expect to make the podium but it was a lot of fun,” he said afterwards. “The car was good and I just put it in the right places. There were a few mistakes I was able to make the most of as well. I knew 15 seconds was quite a lot but I’m pleased I’ve been able to make it up and win.”

Once all the penalties had been worked through, it left Lockie Bloxsom as Saturday race winner and Ryan Denize on pole position for the second race, alongside Harry Townshend, row two was Alice Buckley and Christina Orr-West. Exton would start fifth, Hayden Bakkerus sixth. Bewley lined up 15th and Robb would start at the very back of the grid.

As the lights went out Denize made a great start while Exton vaulted into third behind Ryan and Townshend. Tayler Bryant had also made a good getaway and was in the hunt. Further back Robb and Bewley were already on the move and into the middle of the pack before the first lap was even concluded.

As the field surged without incident through lap one it was Denize from Townshend, Exton, Bryant, Bakkerus, Jackson Rooney, Bewley and Bloxsom.

Hayden Bakkerus was a man on the move too and lined up Bryant for a pass but a slight hesitation allowed the cars behind to close dramatically and for a few corners the cars were two and three abreast before Bewley emerged in front, passing three cars in one move to fourth before the second lap had even been completed.

At the front, Exton made the pass on Townshend on lap two as well and quickly caught and passed Denize to assume the lead, clearly aware of the speed of Bewley a few cars behind. Having taken the lead, he gave it away almost immediately with a mistake, allowing Townshend and Bewley through in one of the most epic opening periods of any Toyota 86 race.

All eyes were on Bewley as he stalked the impressive Townshend who in turn was doing very well to hold back the fast cars behind. Bewley however, had only one result in mind and executed a great move to take the lead on lap five. Exton followed him through and another of the weekend’s pace setters Bloxsom also pounced in what was turning into an unbelievable race.

The last few laps provided everyone with an opportunity to breath and Bewley duly took the flag for a superb victory. Exton came home second , while Bloxsom got another great result with third. Bakkerus came home a season-best fourth, while Townshend did very well in an intense race at the front to come home fifth.

Robb’s recovery from the very back of the field was a little overshadowed by Bewley’s drive but Hunter’s performance was also a remarkable one, and he made it to sixth. Denize took seventh, Buckley eighth, Bryant ninth and John Penny had a good race in spite of a wild trip across the grass to take the final place in the top ten.

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