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Will Manfeild see a new TR 86 Champion crowned?

Matakana’s Brock Gilchrist has a 90-point lead in the Toyota Racing 86 Championship and based on his consistent race winning ways, could finish with enough points to secure the 2023 title. Unless second placed and former world karting champion Clay Osborne could get more wins at the coming penultimate round.

The fifth of six rounds for the 2023 season it is a two horse race for the championship. Third placed Dion Pitt is a further 86 points behind Morrisonville’s Osborne and a dream away from the top-step.

Wedge in the thought there are 15 other drivers all wanting to get to the chequered flag first – and be ahead of Gilchrist, Osborne, and Pitt.

Fuelling that possibility is the layout of the 3km Manfeild circuit, its banked turns, and overtaking opportunities. It’s a point Gilchrist is depending on in the weekend’s second and partial reverse-grid race.

“Taupo, which is quite technical, it’s a lot harder to pass. Manfeild should make the racing more interesting, especially in the second race,” he said.

Throughout the season Gilchrist has stuck to the theme of taking the series one race at a time and not considering the championship. While steadfast keeping to his plan he says there is pressure to hold the advantage:

“The focus now is on staying clean and just keep gathering points, so I have a nice advantage going into the last round. Just get good points in the first race and get whatever I can from the second.”

While 17 cars are expected to finish behind each race winner, the thrill of the competition is also an opportunity for those running a family team to deepen their bonds.

Hawke’s Bay’s Tom Bewley will be one. The 15-year-old will be spending time with a fellow Hawke’s Bay family – there to enjoy a weekend away from the reality of the recent flooding.

The family are supporting a getaway package to bring another into their fold and support their journey. The package includes accommodation and weekend passes to the action.


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