Van Gisbergen claims the first TRS site

Shane van Giesburgen will start Race 2 from 1st

Shane Van Giesbergen took center stage on his return to the Castrol Toyota Series Races at Hampton Downs Motorsport.

The Red Bull-backed driver set one minute and 30.231 seconds on his final lap to outperform Tasman Motorsports Group driver Chris van der Drift by just 0.067 seconds.

“Very cool,” Van Giesbergen said.

“I’ve been pulling it off all the weekend, getting close and guys did a great job.

“I couldn’t make the perfect lap, there was still a little bit of it.

“Great to be here.”

The session was initially led by Brendon Leach who traded the fastest times with Van der Drift in the first minutes.

Soon after, Van der Drift began to extend his legs and went on to extend his margin in 1: 30,501 seconds.

After sitting in the back of the top ten, Van Giesburgen jumped to second place by 1: 30.718 seconds.

Matthew Payne, who made his Toyota Racing Series debut, climbed to third with the session reaching the last few minutes.

Only four minutes remain for Van der Drift, Van Giesburgen, Payne, Caleb Ngatua, Leitch, Dan Gaunt, Peter Vodanovic, Konrad Clark, Billy Fraser and Andre Heimgartner.

When van der Drift crossed the line for the last time, he set 1: 30.298s before van Gisbergen overcame it in 1: 30.231s.

With the checkered flag emerging, Leach suffered a mechanical malfunction and ended up out of the way at the seventh turn, leaving him unable to improve in fifth place.

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In the end, Van Giesbergen, Van der Drift, Payne, Ngatua, Leitch, Fraser, Vodanovic, Gaunt, Heimgartner and Clark led the session.

The fastest times to qualify will determine Grid for Race 2 at the weekend, while Grid is set to Race 1 at the second fastest time.

As such, Van der Drift will start the race on Saturday afternoon from first place while Van Giesbergen will line up in second and Payne in third.

The first race in the Toyota series kicks off at 16:30 local time (14:30 AEDT).

Castrol Toyota Racing Series New Zealand Grand Prix, Qualifiers 1 (fastest time):

1Shane Van Giesbergen1: 30.231
2Chris Van Der Drift1: 30.298
3Matthew Payne1: 30.556
4Caleb survived1: 30.888
5Brendon Leitch1: 30.958
6Billy Fraser1: 31.089
7Peter Vodanovich1: 31.097
8Daniel Gaunt1: 31.133
9Andre Heimgartner1: 31.277
10Conrad Clark1: 31,330
11Tom Alexander1: 31.349
12Greg Murphy1: 31.465
13Damon Leitch1: 31.636
14Joshua Python1: 31.846
15Chris Flock1: 31.960
16Ken Smith1: 36,897

New Zealand Grand Prix, Castrol Toyota Racing Championship, Qualifiers 1 (2nd fastest time):

1Shane Van Giesbergen1: 30.416
2Chris Van Der Drift1: 30.519
3Matthew Payne1: 30.665
4Caleb survived1: 30.993
5Brendon Leitch1: 31.076
6Billy Fraser1: 31.171
7Peter Vodanovich1: 31.179
8Daniel Gaunt1: 31.185
9Andre Heimgartner1: 31.324
10Conrad Clark1: 31.410
11Tom Alexander1: 31,536
12Greg Murphy1: 31.584
13Damon Leitch1: 32.035
14Joshua Python1: 32.262
15Chris Flock1: 32.601
16Ken Smith1: 37.224
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