Sun drenched Connor Adam’s blast around Highlands
Sun drenched could be the early understatement of 2020 as everyone battled the heat of Cromwell. This is where it really gets going for everyone in the Best Bars Toyota 86 Championship with back to back weekends racing combined with the demanding long 4.1km track at Highlands Motorsport Park and with air temperatures in the 28c mark before heading to Teretonga Motorsport Park next weekend.
Friday saw Connor Adam dial the car in during practice while again learning more about the new NEXEN tyre and what it does with high track temperatures. It provided a good solid days effort from the team at IMS and Connor leaving the team pretty happy with the day’s performance.
Saturday saw qualifying and race 1 and again Connor felt pretty good about the car balance and handling and running in the top 4 of the class.
Race 1 saw a series of great pressure plays from the front runners including Connor and provided everything that is classic one-make racing with no quarter given. Connor applying pressure to those around him as well as having it applied to him so fitting for this class. The result a fine podium placing and a third-place finish. “ I am pretty happy with the car, it felt good and we learnt a lot about the tyre pressures in these very high heat conditions on track” commented Adam after the race.
Sunday dawned a beautiful morning as the large crowd filtered into Highland Motorsport Park setting up viewing positions along the grassy trackside embankments that surround the final turns. By mid-morning the air temperature already soaring into the mid 20c mark so again the pressure was on to cope with the conditions let alone the race pressure.
It was again set to be the main championship contenders including Adam that battled it out lap after lap in another thrilling race providing the fans with plenty of real racing viewing and the teams with many nervous moments the young talent drove hard but respectfully with each other. For Connor, it was to result in a 4th place finish and a continuation of his 100% finish record this season.
Onwards to the final race of the weekend and it was a classic. The weekend front runners of Vodanovich Ransley and Robotham along with Connor all lined up for the battle and time to face the heat over the longer race. By the 3:10pm start it was now 28c and climbing and the heat becoming draining for everyone as summer well and truly hit the region. The battle raged in the opening laps amongst these drivers and the heat factor playing a part as well with tyre pressures the key to the handling of the car over the final race. For Connor in the closing stages, the effects became a change in the handling of the car as the tyre started to go away while the leaders after a year racing in Australian conditions adapted slightly better to pull away and create a lead pack.
Highlands marked a good all-round effort from the team as Connor was to become the highest placed driver of the 4 car IMS team and importantly rise from 7th in the championship to 4th and again finish all races started this season which is becoming even more important as so little separates the top contenders.