Van Gisbergen claims TRS pole position

Shane van Gisbergen will start Race 2 from pole position

Shane van Gisbergen has claimed pole position on his return to the Castrol Toyota Racing Series at Hampton Downs Motorsport Park.

The Red Bull-backed driver set a 1:30.231s on his final flying lap to edge out Tasman Motorsports Group driver Chris van der Drift by a mere 0.067s.

“Pretty awesome,” said van Gisbergen.

“I’ve just been chipping away at it all weekend, getting closer and the guys have done an awesome job.

“I couldn’t quite nail the perfect lap, still a fair bit left in it.

“Awesome to be here.”

The session was initially led by Brendon Leitch who traded fastest times with van der Drift in the opening minutes.

Soon enough, van der Drift began to stretch his legs and continued to extend his margin on a 1:30.501s.

Having sat towards the back end of the top 10, van Gisbergen leapt to second place with a 1:30.718s.

Toyota Racing Series debutant Matthew Payne climbed to third as the session reached the final few minutes.

With four minutes to go van der Drift, van Gisbergen, Payne, Kaleb Ngatoa, Leitch, Dan Gaunt, Peter Vodanovich, Conrad Clark, Billy Fraser, and Andre Heimgartner.

As van der Drift crossed the line for the final time, he set a 1:30.298s before van Gisbergen eclipsed that on a 1:30.231s.

As the chequered flag came out, Leitch suffered a mechanical failure and ended up off the road at Turn 7, rendering him unable to improve on his fifth place.

Ultimately, the session was topped by van Gisbergen, van der Drift, Payne, Ngatoa, Leitch, Frazer, Vodanovich, Gaunt, Heimgartner, and Clark.

The fastest times from qualifying will set the grid for Race 2 of the weekend while the grid for Race 1 is set by the second fastest times.

As such, van der Drift will start Saturday afternoon’s race from pole position while van Gisbergen will line up second and Payne third.

Race 1 of the Toyota Racing Series gets underway at 16:30 local time (14:30 AEDT).

Castrol Toyota Racing Series New Zealand Grand Prix, Qualifying 1 (fastest times):

Pos Driver Time
1 Shane van Gisbergen 1:30.231
2 Chris van der Drift 1:30.298
3 Matthew Payne 1:30.556
4 Kaleb Ngatoa 1:30.888
5 Brendon Leitch 1:30.958
6 Billy Frazer 1:31.089
7 Peter Vodanovich 1:31.097
8 Daniel Gaunt 1:31.133
9 Andre Heimgartner 1:31.277
10 Conrad Clark 1:31.330
11 Tom Alexander 1:31.349
12 Greg Murphy 1:31.465
13 Damon Leitch 1:31.636
14 Joshua Bethune 1:31.846
15 Chris Vlok 1:31.960
16 Ken Smith 1:36.897

Castrol Toyota Racing Series New Zealand Grand Prix, Qualifying 1 (second fastest times):

Pos Driver Time
1 Shane van Gisbergen 1:30.416
2 Chris van der Drift 1:30.519
3 Matthew Payne 1:30.665
4 Kaleb Ngatoa 1:30.993
5 Brendon Leitch 1:31.076
6 Billy Frazer 1:31.171
7 Peter Vodanovich 1:31.179
8 Daniel Gaunt 1:31.185
9 Andre Heimgartner 1:31.324
10 Conrad Clark 1:31.410
11 Tom Alexander 1:31.536
12 Greg Murphy 1:31.584
13 Damon Leitch 1:32.035
14 Joshua Bethune 1:32.262
15 Chris Vlok 1:32.601
16 Ken Smith 1:37.224

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