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Euromarque Motorsport Park, Day 1 recap: Four seasons in one day—sun, wind, sand and finally rain

Ōtautahi Christchurch put on a sunny turned wet day, with plenty of breeze, noticed especially when sand kicked up in the lead into turn four Euromarque hairpin and turn four—particularly during CTFROC qualifying with Lucas Fecury taking a scenic route off the track early into the session, and again in the Trans-Tasman TA2 race, with many taking a wide line to challenge the hairpin.

Bilinski’s domination continued during qualifying in CTFROC, taking out his fourth pole position in the series, with his close championship contender Liam Sceats lining up next to the Polish driver in race one.

The last race of the day brought drama before the first turn with a collision between Titus Sherlock and Kaden Probst triggering a safety car followed by a rolling restart. Bilinski took the restart early to gain a good lead on Sceats who was hot on his tail. No stranger to P1, Roman took the win—with an identical podium to qualifying earlier in the day, with Kiwi Liam Sceats just shy of a second behind Bilinski, followed by Jacob Abel who makes his return for the final two races, following a season in IndyNXT in the USA.

The trans-Tasman battle spirit was alive and well during qualifying for TA2, for the first of two rounds across two weekends—with Australian Nathan Herne taking pole position, closely followed by Ben Stewart representing the Kiwis.

Race one for the TA2s brought the same level of competitive spirit, with the top three consisting of two Aussies, split again by Kiwi Ben Stewart—who also posted the fastest lap. The traditional rivalry will continue tomorrow with races two and three of this first round.

Hunter Robb of Action Motorsport continues his lead in the Toyota 86 championship, picking up first place in race one of round three in the series—his third Toyota 86 race win. Exton started race one of round three in pole position, with Hunter claiming the position from fourth in the first two laps of the race.

Exton kept up the chase, bringing pressure to Hunter in the last few laps—but a flawless drive earned Hunter the top spot today.

The Summerset GT Championship made its first visit in two years to Euromarque Motorsport Park, bringing a sixteen car field for the hour-long feature race during the afternoon. A well-saved collision near the end of the race brought some drama to the back of the pack, while the three identical cars of Armstong, Southam and Manson were battling it out in the top three for the majority of the race.

After a safety car finish, Armstrong clinched the top spot for the Open category, with Gilchrist leading the pack in GT4.

Formula Ford began the day with excitement following an orange flag-turned red after an early crash. A race finish under safety car led to rookie Izaak Fletcher taking the podium in P3, followed by William Neale and Blake Knowles taking P1.

Sebastian Manson, who posted the fastest lap in race one climbed up to take the top spot in race two for Formula Ford—beating out race one winner Blake Knowles by only .084 seconds.

Rain claimed the last few moments of the day, but the forecast is looking fairly clear for a full day of racing.


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