MOTORSPORT

MacNeill and Pye share pole positions for Toyota Racing Series at A1GP Taupo

Saturday 24 January 2009, 11:04AM
By Toyota Racing Series
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TAUPO

Palmerston North racer Sam MacNeill has taken his first pole position of
the 2008-2009 Toyota Racing Series, and starts the first race tomorrow
alongside series leader Mitch Cunningham.

Auckland-based Cunningham took pole for the second race and with fastest
time of the day also starts from pole for the feature race on Sunday, the
Denny Hulme Memorial Cup.

Cunningham leads the overall series points race and has a narrow lead in
the three-round "series within a series" for the TRS International Trophy.

In the first qualifying session, MacNeill topped an on-form Cunningham by
just .037sec; posting a 1:25.973 in his last lap just as Cunningham put in
his fastest lap of the session, a 1:26.010.

Karcher-backed MacNeill was the only driver to go inside the 1:25 bracket
in that session.

Behind them young British driver Will Stevens also put in his best time on
the final timed lap of the session, a 1:26.117 that was good enough to
secure third ahead of Australian Scott Pye on 1:26.316.

In the second session, Mitch Cunningham was clearly fastest, posting a
late-session 1:25.363. Will Stevens improved to second fastest in this
session with 1:25.485 while Sam MacNeill was third on 1:25.573.

The grid for the feature race is decided by each racer's fastest time
across both sessions. The hole field went faster in the second session,
meaning the Denny Hulme Memorial Cup grid will start with Cunningham and
Stevens, then shift to a second row of MacNeill and Pye and a third row of
William Buller (UK) and Michael Burdett.