Lightfoot stoked after tricky Hampton Downs round

Mike ‘Buzz’ Lightfoot has come away from just his second ever round in the Toyota TR86 series absolutely rapt after finishing the weekend in fifth place despite some very challenging conditions.

Returning to a circuit he loves, Lightfoot was looking forward to getting behind the wheel of the nimble little Toyota. However changing conditions made life difficult in qualifying, with the opening couple of laps of the session seeing Lightfoot caught on slicks in the rain. A red flag saw the sun come out and the track dry mid-session, allowing Lightfoot to qualify 11th.

If qualifying conditions were tricky, race one was a nightmare for Lightfoot in only his fourth ever race in the TR86. A dry start to the race called for slick tyres, however no sooner had the green flag fallen than the heavens opened, and after a huge slide coming on to the front straight, Lighfoot fell back to 14th. But as he got the feel of the tricky combination, Lightfoot moved forward and would eventually cross the line in a very creditable seventh place.

A reverse top eight for the following race saw the SEW Eurodrive TR86 starting on the outside of the front row. A slow start meant Lightfoot dropped a couple of spots, but a big battle with front runner Callum Quin saw Lightfoot hold the young gun off until the penultimate corner of the race, earning Lightfoot a personal best of fifth place.

The third and final race was longer at 15 laps and gave Lightfoot the opportunity to try a few new things from a lowly 11th place on the grid. He put his foot down early and quickly moved into sixth place, then set about reeling in fifth. After a quick trade of positions, Lightfoot was forced to settle for a close fought sixth place, but was stoked to come home in fifth overall for the round.

“Honestly, I’m just so stoked to come away from such a tricky weekend with some pretty good results,” said Lightfoot. “The SEW Eurodrive TR86 is so much fun to drive, just like a go-kart.”

Lightfoot and his team now turn their focus to Ruapuna on January 15-17, where Lightfoot will look to improve his fifth place in the championship.

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