Bilinski again but Sceats more than Abel to challenge
Championship leader Roman Bilinski continued his dominance of the Castrol Toyota Formula Regional Oceania Championship in New Zealand with an impressive pole position for M2 Competition at the Euromarque Motorsport Park today.
The Polish ace will have his nearest championship challenger Liam Sceats alongside him on the front row at the Euromarque Motorsport Park, Christchurch, with mtec Motorsport’s Jacob Abel just behind in third.
It was the INDY NXT driver, back in New Zealand for the final two rounds of this year’s championship, who took the fastest time early on but as the 15-minute session wore on he was unable to match the performance of the top two. It was nevertheless a mighty first qualifying for the popular and highly regarded US racer, who finished third in the 2023 NZ championship.
It was a good session for the Kiwis with Giles Motorsport’s Kaleb Ngatoa – feature race winner at Hampton Downs last weekend – in fourth on the grid after a solid session.
Canadian Patrick Woods-Toth maintained his testing form for a top five qualifying slot in his Kiwi Motorsport car, while another Kiwi, Alex Crosbie, used his extensive circuit knowledge to good effect to claim the outside of the third row.
Bryce Aron, another US racer of note competing in the last two rounds, could not match his scintillating testing form but the Andretti Global driver will nevertheless start seventh on the grid after his first qualifying session in a Toyota FT60.
Gerrard Xie was another to go well in testing and after his big off last weekend at Hampton Downs, could be well satisfied with a place on the fourth row, while Michael Shin and Titus Sherlock completed the top ten.
The afternoon’s race will be the first of three over the weekend, with the big feature race on Sunday deciding whose name will go on the iconic Lady Wigram Trophy.