Young guns star as Hugo Allan wins Toyota 86 pole position
Heart of Racing rising star Hugo Allan continued his rich vein of form with pole position at Hampton Downs at the final round of the 2022 Toyota 86 Championship.
The championship’s up and coming stars maintained their pace from the previous round at Taupo with Allan, Ronan Murphy and Marco Giltrap all starring in the session and making up the top three qualifiers.
Allan had bided his time in the 20 minute session before clocking his 1 minute 16.684 second pole position lap.
Up until those closing moments the session had been dominated by Ronan Murphy, who produced a superb middle sector on his best lap before making full use of a handy tow to the finish line from team mate John Penny. That put Murphy two tenths clear, but Allan was far from done and put everything together when it mattered most.
“In the first part of qualifying the car wasn’t perfect but I came in and we did a bit of a tune up and then headed out again,” he said afterwards. “I think it was a bit of the car and a bit of me in that best lap, but it’s great that the three of us are up the front again and I can’t wait to go racing.”
Remarkably, the top 16 cars in the 21 car field were covered by less than a second. The two championship protagonists, Rowan Shepherd and Simon Evans, could only manage fifth and sixth fastest respectively and will share the third row of the grid for Saturday’s opening race of the final weekend.
Behind Allan, Murphy and Giltrap, Brock Gilchrist maintained his late season charge to lock out the final spot on the second row in fourth. With Shepherd and Evans on the third row, it was Zac Stichbury and Dion Pitt who claimed seventh and eighth on the grid with top Masters class racer Penny and rookie Matthew McCutcheon rounding out a hugely competitive top ten.
Championship challenger Justin Allen will line up 11th on the grid with plenty of work to do when the race gets underway later today.