Six consecutive TR86 wins for Blewett

| Photographer Credit: Bruce Jenkins

Ash Blewett is in dominant form with six wins from six starts in the 2015-2016 Toyota Finance 86 Championship.

Pursued hardest by fellow Aucklanders Callum Quin and John Penny, he won in the rain AT Hampton Downs on Saturday from pole position, again on Sunday from eighth in an accident-marred partial reverse ten lap race, then led the afternoon’s final 15 lap race from pole to chequered flag.

Blewett said a multiple car crash at turn four caused him some anxious moments. Being mid-field put him right amidst the chaos as Kenny Smith and Matthew Hamilton tangled and the field wove into and around the scene.

“That second race was pretty busy. I was pretty pleased to come through that without damage, and once we had got under way the main aim was to keep my championship rivals behind me. So getting through to the front was a bonus.”

A lengthy safety car period ate away the available laps and when racing resumed John Penny sped through to lead before Blewett hunted him down.

“We have had some great battles this weekend, John races hard but he’s very clean, we always respect each other on track,” he said after that second race.

The third race of the weekend saw Blewett race out to a lead of more than ten seconds, Callum Quin quickly taking second away from Michael Scott and Penny slotting into this before being overhauled by Christchurch’s Matt Hamilton.

“This final race was really good for us, we got better pace and some clean air and were able to drive our own race. Full credit to Ash though, he’s really been on another level all weekend,” said Quin.

Tiff Chittenden stepped up into the top ten and then to ninth at the flag, having overtaken Craig Innes to engage Kenny Smith in battle to the very end.

“I’m pretty happy with the weekend, we finally got in some good laps and I was able to make some good overtaking moves so the race three result was really encouraging,” she said.

Rain or shine though, the weekend belongs to Ash Blewett, who says he will be working on maintaining his advantage when the championship resumes in January.

“It’s a great start, but as always a championship is about consistency in pace and performance. It’s all about time in the car, about understanding what the car will do for you and what you need to do to be fast everywhere.”

Mark Baker has been working in automotive PR and communications for more than two decades. For much longer than that he has been a motorsport journalist, photographer and competitor, witness to most of the most exciting and significant motorsport trends and events of the mid-late 20th Century. His earliest memories of motorsport were trips to races at Ohakea in the early 1960s, and later of annual summer pilgrimages to watch Shellsport racers and Mini 7s at Bay Park and winter sorties into forests around Kawerau and Rotorua to see the likes of Russell Brookes, Ari Vatanen and Mike Marshall ply their trade in group 4 Escorts. Together with Murray Taylor and TV producer/director Dave Hedge he has been responsible for helping to build New Zealand’s unique Toyota Racing Series into a globally recognized event brand under category managers Barrie and Louise Thomlinson. Now working for a variety of automotive and mainstream commercial clients, Mark has a unique perspective on recent motor racing history and the future career paths of our best and brightest young racers.

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