Thursday TRS testing at Teretonga

| Photographer Credit: Bruce Jenkins

Bob McMurray updates us from the 2nd round of the 2016 Toyota Racing Series…..

Despite dire warnings of a repeat of the Ruapuna weather, Thursday was a very gentle, nice and warm day.

About the same as the internet connection here.

Not fast and not always there, just frustratingly gentle.

The Southern Ocean is just metres away from the track and seeing as, apart from a small bump in the ocean to the south, the next landmass is Antarctica, I guess even in this day and age of immediate communications and phone calls with the International Space Station, live internet on aircraft at 37,000 feet and the rest, some excuse can be made.
On second thoughts, no it can’t.
No excuse whatsoever.

To wrap up last weekend, Lando Norris was adjudged, after the race, to have rejoined the track in a dangerous fashion after going off track in his attempt to maintain the lead of the race and was penalized 30 seconds on his race time, thereby losing the points lead in the championship.

After one round it is obviously tight at the top of that table with Habsburg now leading on 184 points then Markelov 181, Norris 171, Zhou 163, Daruvala 140, Leitch 130, Piquet 109, Ptak 103, DeFrancesco 102, Buret 100, Cockerton 96, Munro 78, Baptista (B) 78, Laliberte 66, Dapero 61, Owen 58, Baptista (R) 46, Hanses 44 and Bean 38.

Other penalties included Nicolas Dapero who was fined $500 plus docked 4 demerit points for hitting another car under the yellow flags and William Owen given 1 series demerit point for weaving under the yellow flag.

The demerit points system in racing is similar to the road car system.

6 points = Go back 6 grid places for next race
10 points = Start from rear of grid for the next race
15 points = Exclusion from next race & start from rear of grid at following race
19 points = Exclusion from two races and endorsement of licence

Jamie Conroy, who was unable to complete his final sponsorship budget to enable him to actually race in the 2016 TRS series, is once again getting some valuable kilometres under his belt by driving the TRS test car (BELOW) during the ‘free’ practice sessions in the continual process of improvement of the FT50 chassis.

The lap record for the FT50 chassis was set last year by Lance Stroll at 53.109 seconds.

That time will be under serious threat if the weather plays the game but there again, I am not sure just what game the weather is going to play over the weekend.

First free practice session of the weekend, on Thursday afternoon, threw up some familiar names at the top of the list with Lando Norris putting up a time of 53.599 then Leitch, Markelov, Munro, Ptak, De Francesco, Hanses, Cockerton, Habsburg and Piquet making up the top ten.

Those ten plus the next four, all covered by less than one second.

With a track temperature of 29c and air of 22c the second session started on time at 3.30pm.

All on ‘used’ tyres and just getting used to the track so the times were not really important but Leitch took the top spot followed by Piquet, de Francesco, Habsburg, Markelov, Cockerton, Zhou, Ptak, Norris and Munro.

The session was barely underway when it was red flagged to recover the car of Daruvala who had stopped on track with an electrical problem which was quickly cured back in the pits and he was sent on his merry way again.

Another red flag with seven minutes to go for the car of Buret, off track…..somewhere…..!

(Late breaking news….actually he went off around turn 1 and damaged the front right suspension, steering arm etc.)

Otherwise… a pretty quiet Thursday and onwards and upwards to FRIDAY……….

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