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Bewley opens Toyota 86 campaign with pole position in the rain

Tom Bewley overcame soaking wet conditions in the first qualifying session of the season to take pole position for the first race at Taupo in the 2023-2024 Toyota 86 Championship.

The 20 minute session turned into a four way battle for the top spot between Bewley, Hunter Robb, William Exton and Jackson Rooney, before rookie Robb managed a lap six tenths ahead of his rivals before a red flag stopped the session.

With the track conditions remaining consistently wet throughout the session, Bewley stayed patient in the busy traffic before he unleashed his best, and he was able to secure pole position by just under eight hundredths of a second.

“It was hectic out there,” Bewley explained afterwards, “There were rivers out there after the red flag so it was as much about keeping the car straight. Conditions were changing constantly.

“I thought I had a good lap coming. I spent a couple of laps stuck in the traffic so as soon as I had an opportunity I went for it and just tried to keep it tidy.

“It’s great to have pole position and with the conditions probably going to be the same for this afternoon’s race, it’s going to be about not making any mistakes and keeping it clean.”

Robb’s best lap secured him the other front row starting slot while Rooney in third and Exton in fourth locked out the second row. Brooklyn Horan showed his potential with an impressive fifth place while Tayler Bryant was a solid sixth.

John Penny headed the Master Class in seventh just ahead of Justin Allen to complete the fourth row with the top ten completed by Hayden Bakkerus and fastest woman in the session, Australian Alice Buckley.

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