Debutants Kai Allen and Andrew Shah were standout performers for Tekworkx Motorsport in round two of the Toyota Gazoo Racing Australia 86 series in Townsville, Allen scoring a stellar podium in his category debut.
Unfortunately, Rossi Johnson’s weekend ended early when he was caught up as an innocent victim in a race one accident.
Allen was the leading rookie of the field all weekend, qualifying seventh and achieving two fourth place finishes to back up his third place in race two of the weekend. Allen worked his way forward in race one to finish fourth before a bold move in race two elevated him on to the podium.
“We didn’t have any expectations coming into the weekend, so getting on to the podium is a good result,” said Allen.
“It all started off quite nicely, with good times in Friday practice and a solid qualifying result, so I was happy just to settle in and not push too hard. In race two I had some really good pace and managed to make the move which got me up on the podium.
“The whole weekend has been a really amazing experience, Tekworkx have been very professional and extremely busy, they’ve set the cars up perfectly and enabled Andrew and Rossi and me to perform to the best of our ability.”
Shah took to the Toyota 86 category with equally quick adaptation. After qualifying 16th and being taken out in a large multi-car pileup in race one, he charged through the field in Sunday’s two races. Shah gained eight spots to finish 19th in race two before gaining another eight spots in race three and finishing 11th.
“That was proper fun,” said Andrew.
“With everyone in equal machinery, we’re all so close together and you have to really focus on setting up overtakes – it creates a lot of excitement.
“Coming through the field on Sunday was some of the best racing I think I’ve ever had.”
Johnson suffered a heartbreaking weekend – after qualifying 12th and making progress in race one, he was caught in the same pileup that claimed Shah. Unfortunately, the damage dealt to Johnson’s car was enough to exclude it for the remainder of the weekend.
“My confidence got knocked initially by the spin in practice, but we moved forward in qualifying and I felt comfortable. I made a good start to the race and was up four spots,” said Johnson.
“We got turned around at turn two just a couple of laps in and got hit by oncoming traffic which was not a great feeling.”
“The positive is we know that my true pace lies inside the top 10, so we’ve improved since Bathurst. I’ll look forward to coming back next round and building on that speed.”
The next round of the Toyota Gazoo Racing Australia 86 series is schedule to take place at Sydney Motorsport Park from August 20-22.