Toyota Racing Series smash out record-breaking lap-times at Pukekohe Park
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Day one of the Castrol Toyota Racing Series' fourth round at Pukekohe Park has been punctuated by record-breaking pace and a selection of incidents across the day's three practice sessions.
Brazil's Caio Collet was the quickest driver of the day; curiously setting his quickest lap of the day — a 1:00.665 — in the opening session of the day. As conditions warmed times appeared to plateau, with Igor Fraga and Franco Colapinto's top times in sessions two and three both in the 1min 01sec bracket.
Collet's day was up and down, with session one's sharp lap-time followed in session two by a large crash at the final corner. The FT-60 drivers have been battling the bumps at the first and last corners, as well as the kerbs on the run to turn four.
The latter was the scene of numerous offs into the sand-trap during Thursday's running, and today claimed Lirim Zendeli in session two.
Collet led Jackson Walls, Petr Ptacek, Colapinto, and Gregoire Saucy in that opening test. Fraga, Colapinto, Zendeli, Oliver Rasmussen, and Walls made up the top five of session two, with Colapinto, Zendeli, Ptacek, Emilien Denner, and Walls completing the top five of the day's final session.
The pace of championship leaders Fraga and Liam Lawson was erratic, with Fraga's first place in session two preceding an eighth and followed by a 12th. Lawson meanwhile didn't clock a time in the top five of any session; finishing 11th, seventh, and 14th across the day.
It was evident that the defending champ was capable of higher speeds, given his heavy brake applications on the front straight at the end of certain hot laps.
Qualifying for tomorrow's opening race takes place at 10.55am, with the race to follow at 2.20pm. Two races will follow on Sunday, with the winner of the day-closing feature earning the New Zealand Motor Cup trophy. Live coverage will be available on Sky Sport 55.