Aussi ace Robotham conquers Pukekohe at first attempt

Australian Jaylyn Robotham took out the first round of the Best Bars Toyota 86 Championship in style over the weekend at Pukekohe Park – the youngster taking two wins and a second place on his first visit to the circuit.

Less than a week after the conclusion of the Australian Toyota 86 Championship, where he finished sixth overall, Robotham was on a plane to New Zealand to race as a late entry in the New Zealand series, and his debut couldn’t have been more impressive.
 
“Yes, for sure it’s gone really well over the weekend considering it all came together so late,” he explained. “I’ve not actually done any simulator work around the track, but I have watched the Supercars race around here so just tried to learn the circuit as quickly as possible in Friday practice.
 
“There’s plenty of tough competition out there and I’ve got to remember that for me it’s going to be all new circuits in this championship but I’m definitely very happy to have taken two wins and a round win.”
 
It wasn’t all plain sailing for the Aussie over the two days of action, however. Experienced Kiwi Jaden Ransley in the Miles Toyota 86 showed he will be a major threat in the championship this season with pole position in qualifying and a win in the first race on Saturday.  Along with Peter Vodanovich in the Nexen Chargers supported car, and Brock Gilchrist in the Nexus Logistics entry, the trio led the attack against the Aussie invader on Sunday and proved it’s going to be a very closely fought championship.
 
A field of 17 of the best up and coming young drivers from New Zealand and Australia headed out for first practice and sixteen made it through, providing great racing all the way. The only casualty was newcomer Todd Foster in his International Motorsport run car, who crashed in qualifying and was forced out of the racing action for the rest of the weekend.
 
Whilst Robotham shone, there were mixed fortunes for the two other racers out of the Australian series making the trip across the Tasman – Richard Peasey and James Wilkins. Peasey gradually made his way to the front of the midfield and was part of an epic battle in the final race, which gave him fifth and his best result of the weekend. Wilkins struggled initially but gradually improved to become a top ten contender by Sunday afternoon.
 
Of the rest of the Kiwi contenders, Campbell Stewart showed he has made a significant step forward in his second season of Toyota 86 racing, being a factor in the three races in the main chasing packs behind the big guns, while Justin Allen, Connor Adam, Connor Davison, Andrew Jackson and Leo Bult all had impressive moments.
 
The championship now heads to the South Island for rounds at Highlands Motorsport Park and Invercargill’s Teretonga Park. It then moves to the North Island for the New Zealand Grand Prix meeting at Manfeild – Circuit Chris Amon and then onto Hampton Downs before concluding with a non-championship race weekend at the Virgin Australia Supercars event at Pukekohe Park in April.



 
Best Bars Toyota 86 Championship positions after Round 1
 
1 Jaylyn Robotham, Jay Robotham Racing – 217
2 Jaden Ransley, Neale Motorsport – 202
3 Peter Vodanovich, Peter Vodanovich Motorsport – 176
4 Brock Gilchrist, International Motorsport – 168
5 Connor Adam, International Motorsport – 129
6 Justin Allen, Allen Racing Team/IMS – 129
7 Richard Peasey, Toyota GAZOO Racing New Zealand – 124
8 Campbell Stewart, M2 Competition – 113
9 Andrew Jackson, Darkhorse Racing – 105
10 Connor Davison, M2 Competition – 98
11 Leo Bult, Darkhorse Racing – 90
12 Brayden Phillips, Phillips Motorsport – 84
13 Ryan Wood, Ryan Wood Motorsports/CareVets – 81
14 James Wilkins, Kaizen Racing – 78
15 Tayler Bryant, CareVets Scholarship – 70
16 Flynn Mullany, Tony Richards Toyota
17 Todd Foster, International Motorsport – 0

Best Bars Toyota 86 Championship Round 1 Pukekohe Race 1
 
1 Jaden Ransley, Neale Motorsport
2 Jaylyn Robotham, Jay Robotham Racing
3 Brock Gilchrist, International Motorsport
4 Connor Adam, International Motorsport
5 Peter Vodanovich, Peter Vodanovich Motorsport
6 Campbell Stewart, M2 Competition
7 Justin Allen, Allen Racing Team/IMS
8 Connor Davison, M2 Competition
9 Richard Peasey, Toyota GAZOO Racing New Zealand
10 Andrew Jackson, Darkhorse Racing
11 Leo Bult, Darkhorse Racing
12 James Wilkins, Kaizen Racing
13 Brayden Phillips, Phillips Motorsport  
14 Flynn Mullany, Tony Richards Toyota
15 Tayler Bryant, CareVets Scholarship
16 Ryan Wood, Ryan Wood Motorsports/CareVets
 
Best Bars Toyota 86 Championship Round 1 Pukekohe Race 2
 
1 Jaylyn Robotham, Jay Robotham Racing
2 Peter Vodanovich, Peter Vodanovich Motorsport              
3 Jaden Ransley, Neale Motorsport
4 Brock Gilchrist, International Motorsport
5 Campbell Stewart, M2 Competition
6 Ryan Wood, Ryan Wood Motorsports/CareVets
7 Connor Adam, International Motorsport
8 Richard Peasey, Toyota GAZOO Racing New Zealand
9 Justin Allen, Allen Racing Team/IMS
10 Leo Bult, Darkhorse Racing
11 Andrew Jackson, Darkhorse Racing
12 Connor Davison, M2 Competition
13 Brayden Phillips, Phillips Motorsport
14 Tayler Bryant, CareVets Scholarship
15 James Wilkins, Kaizen Racing
16 Flynn Mullany, Tony Richards Toyota
 
Best Bars Toyota 86 Championship Round 1 Pukekohe Race 3
 
1 Jaylyn Robotham, Jay Robotham Racing
2 Jaden Ransley, Neale Motorsport Peter Vodanovich
3 Peter Vodanovich, Peter Vodanovich Motorsport        
4 Brock Gilchrist, International Motorsport
5 Richard Peasey, Toyota GAZOO Racing New Zealand 
6 Justin Allen, Allen Racing Team/IMS
7 Campbell Stewart, M2 Competition
8 Andrew Jackson, Darkhorse Racing
9 Ryan Wood, Ryan Wood Motorsports/CareVets
10 Connor Adam, International Motorsport 
11 Brayden Phillips, Phillips Motorsport
12 Connor Davison, M2 Competition
13 James Wilkins, Kaizen Racing 
14 Leo Bult, Darkhorse Racing
15 Tayler Bryant, CareVets Scholarship
 
DNF Flynn Mullany, Tony Richards Toyota
 

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