Promising Start to 2022 Toyota 86 Campaign for Tekworkx

Tekworkx Motorsport got their 2022 Toyota Gazoo Racing Australia 86 Series campaign off to a promising start with the team recording two top ten finishes and all three drivers making notable progress over the weekend.

Representing the team was Andrew Shah, Jayden Wanzek and Rossi Johnson who will all contest the full 2022 season. In Friday practice the trio showed very strong pace in some of toughest conditions of the weekend, with Wanzek finishing fifth right in front of Shah in sixth. Johnson was eager not to risk his car following extensive rebuilds in 2021 and ran on old tyres, finishing 26th but noting that he felt extremely comfortable.

In what came as a surprise to everyone, Saturday greeted them with sunny skies and a dry day for qualifying and race one of the weekend. Johnson suffered an ABS fault early in the session, bouncing back to claim position 23 on the starting grid. Wanzek was caught out by traffic which ruined his early run and with the tyres unable to produce strong pace after the initial laps, was resigned to 29th on the grid. Shah was the best of the team’s qualifiers and put himself 15th with moments inside the top 10 through the session.

The three races across the weekend saw the Tekworkx trio make steady progress to move up the order and by the final chequered flag the team has gained 26 positions collectively.

Race one proved to be the driest of the weekend and yet was shortened to seven laps due to incidents throughout the field. Wanzek was able to dodge the drama despite starting deep in the pack to race up to 21st place and finish right on the tail of Johnson in 20th who had gained three places. Shah was part of a large group of cars fighting for places inside the top 10 and was able to move up to 12th.

Sunday morning hosted race two, where the field completed just two green flag laps in wet conditions much more akin to what was seen in Friday practice. Johnson and Shah both had excellent starts which allowed them to gain positions to finish 15th and ninth respectively. Unfortunately for Wanzek he was turned around by a fellow competitor and relegated to the back of the pack and a 31st place finish.

The final race of the weekend went safety car free which enabled the Tekworkx trio to make big progress and engage in some big battles. Shah had a great run inside the top 10, challenging for sixth potion until the final lap when a bold attempt to claim the spot resulted in him falling back to ninth. Johnson was battling for 10th place all race and also came under immense pressure from behind but was able to hold his ground and finish 13th. Wanzek meanwhile had strapped the proverbial afterburners on and torn through the field to gain 12 places in just 10 laps and finish in 19th.

All three cars showed front running pace at times across the weekend and with such a close field, are genuine contenders to fight at the front next time they go racing. The second round of the Toyota Gazoo Racing Australia 86 Series will be held in Townsville from July 8-10.