Bewley cruises to Toyota 86 Championship

| Photographer Credit: Bruce Jenkins

Tom Bewley secured the 2023-2024 Toyota 86 Championship after a trouble-free drive to fifth place in the final race of the weekend at Taupo International Motorsport Park.

He was helped by the retirement of his chief rival William Exton, but Bewley had everything covered as he came home to take the title by 32 points.

Jackson Rooney continued his dominance of the Supercars weekend with his second win of the weekend while Hunter Robb did what he could by finishing second, but that would only mean runner up spot in the championship and the Rookie title, still a major haul for the youngster.

The day though, belonged to the new champion Bewley, and he was ecstatic afterwards. “It’s hard to say how I feel right now. Obviously I’ve got to thank a mighty team who have kept me grounded and organised and allowed me to improve as a driver and I know I have.”

The race was a straightforward one with the only moment of drama Exton’s exit with clutch issues.  Rooney ran away with it, showing prodigious speed that could mark him as the major title contender next season if he decides to continue in the championship with the new GR86.

The fighting behind Rooney involved Robb, Lockie Bloxsom and Justin Allen very early on, and behind them Bewley made quick work of Tayler Bryant and found himself a nice gap behind the top five. 

At that stage, with Exton sitting second, it would have been a tie on points but it all came to a grinding halt for Exton on lap four. That put Bewley in fifth and whatever Hunter did, fifth place was going to be enough for Bewley to lock out the championship and a TGRNZ supported drive in one round of ADAC GT4 Germany Championship at the iconic Nürburgring circuit, driving a GR Supra GT4 Evo as his major prize. With team mate Hayden Bakkerus acting as his rear gunner, he cruised home to a deserved championship title.

Rooney sailed home for an impressive race win, while Robb followed him home to take victory for the round ahead of Bloxsom, Allen, Bewley, Bakkerus, Bryant, Ben Stewart, John Penny and Alice Buckley.

The current Toyota 86 completed its last championship laps today too. Eleven seasons of epic racing having helped produce some exceptional drivers now racing throughout the world and Australasia at a very high level. Bewley will be hoping to join them.

2023-2024 Toyota 86 Championship – Round 6 – Taupo – Race 3

130Jackson RooneyRace Lab Drivers Academy
269Hunter RobbAction Motorsport
323Lockie BloxsomiMac Race Engineering
499Justin AllenAllen Racing Team
54Tom BewleyMackenzie Motorsport
620Hayden BakkerusMacKenzie Motorsport
775Tayler BryantAction Motorsport
833Ben StewartBen Stewart Racing
922John PennyAction Motorsport
103Alice BuckleyRace Lab Drivers Academy
1173Harry TownshendBayswater Motorsport
1255Christina Orr-WestDayle ITM Racing
1311William MortoniMac Race Engineering
145Breanna MorrisDayle ITM Racing
1587Summer RintouleAction Motorsport
168Thomas MallardCrème Racing
1750Ryan DenizeMacKenzie Motorsport
1881Cormac MurphyRace Lab Drivers Academy
1957Saxon SheehanDayle ITM Racing
2088Noel SimpsonAction Motorsport
DNF42William ExtonRace Lab Drivers Academy

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