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Toyota owners will get a rare opportunity to drive their pride and joy on the Hampton Downs full international race circuit, when the annual Toyota Festival is held there on Saturday 1 April.
After taking place at the Highlands Motorsport Park in Cromwell last year, the Festival returns to the North Island with a wide variety of events planned for the north Waikato track.
Coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the Toyota Corolla in New Zealand, the 2017 Toyota Festival invites the entire family and Toyota enthusiasts for a day of competitions, displays, track rides, 4x4 driving, giveaways and a dedicated area for Corolla owners to display their vehicles to mark the occasion.
“Over the years we have been fortunate enough to have Toyota models that have appealed to New Zealand motorists who have ultimately become enthusiasts,” said Andrew Davis, Toyota New Zealand’s General Manager of Used Vehicles & Marketing.
“This ranges from performance and sports car models like the legendary AE86, MR2, Celica and new 86 to our SUV and 4x4 models like Hilux and best-selling models like Corolla where there is always a Kiwi family story.
“The Toyota Festival lets us celebrate these models, our customers and is our way of saying thanks and giving back to those drivers.”
Toyota is also introducing a Motokhana competition for the first time. This is a timed, skills based competition around a relatively tight-coned course, so speeds are not high, but a good level of driving skill is required.
The 2.9km national circuit - which is used for most race meetings, including the Castrol Toyota Racing Series and the Toyota Racing 86 Championship – will be widely used for the track sessions, while those engaging in the drifting action will take advantage of the 1.2kmclub circuit.
Exclusive laps will be on offer for the ultimate motorsport fans who wish to partake in sessions on the 3.8km international circuit which has only been used sparingly since the start of summer when it opened and hosted a round of the Australian GT championship.
For cars that do not wish to indulge in speed events, the crowd favourite Show & Shine competition returns for all kinds of Toyotas based on vehicle age.
Toyota’s legendary 4WD ability is not forgotten either with a 4x4 course for those who want to get “down and dirty” picking up new techniques and skills to up their off-road confidence.
The Festival was started in 2013 by a group of Toyota 86 owners who established it as a track event for club members. It was expanded in 2014 to cater to all Toyota enthusiasts with all types of Toyotas and has quickly grown into the biggest individual marque track day of the year in New Zealand.
Last year, more than 400 Toyotas attended the Highlands Motorsport Park event in Cromwell. Toyota is looking to beat that number this year.
Registration is available online with extensive event information. There is free event entry and parking and all entrants are eligible to win a prize.