Christchurch driver Ryan Yardley is still in control of the 2016-2017 Toyota 86 Championship, but hard-charging Reid Harker has significantly eroded the points gap with three wins from three starts at Manfeild.
Racing on the newly renamed Circuit Chris Amon, Albany driver Harker has taken the fight to the CareVets Racing team and chipped away at Ryan Yardley’s points advantage – only a race win/DNF combination stands between him and the championship lead.
Yardley is showing his form under pressure from Harker and former CareVets team-mate Michael Scott, though, and kept his title lead with two third placings and a second.
There are now only 74 points between the leading Yardley and Harker, and just 27 points to a resurgent Michael Scott, who is recovering from a devastating crash at the opening round. Scott also put in a strong performance this weekend, banking 194 points to be third in the championship and second for the weekend with two second placings and a third.
But the weekend belonged to Harker, who said the racing was “just excellent” Having won the first race, he drew a number four marble to start race two on Sunday from fourth place. Charging through, he pushed the Aegis Oils/Washworld TR 86 to the front of the pack and stayed there to the chequered flag. Then, starting from pole in the 15 lap race three, he simply dominated the racing dictating pace and defending from an equally determined Michael Scott.
Harker said the car’s setup was ‘perfect’. “All weekend I’ve had great drive out of the corners and fantastic speed down the straights. The battles with Michael and Ryan were great, they are good clean racers. I am really happy with the results. As for the championship itself, we will see what happens,” he said.
CareVets Racing Scholarship driver Jack Milligan, Christchurch, is the leading rookie for the series.