Mike Lightfoot returns to Master the Toyota 86 Championship

Published 1 August 2016

From the brutal bellow of a V8 ute to the refined balance of Toyota’s purpose-built TR 86 sports coupe race car: Auckland driver Mike Lightfoot is ready to race.

With a first season completed in the SEW Eurodrive TR 86 race car, Lightfoot says he has an unrelenting focus on results as he prepares for the 2016-2017 Toyota 86 Championship.

Stepping out of the V8 ute for his debut season in the Toyotas last year, Lightfoot said, was a revelation. Racing on slick tyres, quality grids, on New Zealand’s most challenging race circuits was ‘incredibly exciting’.

“The Championship was intensely competitive from the very first practice session, and it took me a while to get to grips with the car. You really have to be dialled-in to these cars to get the best out of them – not easy when there are 20-plus other drivers all fighting for a podium placing at every round!”

Finishing a creditable eighth in that season was enough to hook Lightfoot and bring him back for a second championship. He says he was also drawn by the opportunity to be part of a comprehensive ‘wrap-around’ premier championship that includes professional race management, VIP hosting and technical support operations.

“No other series offers as much. The 86 Championship puts on a heck of a show on-track and behind the scenes it gives us a place to interact with our sponsors, we can offer our guests lunches in the Toyota Finance Paddock Club and there are hot lap opportunities so our guests can experience the excitement for themselves. The camaraderie among the drivers is fantastic.”

Lightfoot says the $100,000 prize fund announced by Toyota two weeks ago is a huge boost for the series and can only raise the level of competition even further.

“I reckon we’ll have full grids from the first round, and with a great TV package putting the action on-screen after every round there’s going to be some superb racing,” he said.

Competing in the Masters category, Lightfoot goes up against the ultra-competitive John Penny, category winner in 2015-2016. He says he has one aim: to challenge more drivers to join the fray and to line up against Penny in a battle for the Masters category win.

“The more drivers in the category, the faster we all go. That makes the racing even more exciting for everyone.”


 

Toyota Finance 86 Championship 2016 - 2017 Race Calendar

Round 1 04 – 06 November 2016 Pukekohe Park Raceway, Pukekohe (with V8 Supercars)
Round 2 09 – 11 December 2016 Taupo Motorsport Park, Taupo
Round 3 13 – 15 January 2017 Mike Pero Motorsport Park, Ruapuna, Christchurch (with Toyota Racing Series)
Round 4 20 – 22 January 2017 Teretonga Park, Invercargill (with Toyota Racing Series)
Round 5 10 – 12 Febuary 2017 Manfeild, Feilding (with Toyota Racing Series)
Round 6 10 – 12 March 2017 Hampton Downs

Connor Adam BJP-8863 300x170 listing Connor Adam aims to rebuild 86 lead at Teretonga

Published 19 January 2018

International Motorsport's Connor Adam will look to rebuild his Championship points lead this weekend as the Toyota 86 Championship rolls into Teretonga for round four

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BJP-0014173 Jayden 300x170 Connor Adam hangs on to Toyota 86 Championship lead

Published 14 January 2018

Halfway through the Toyota 86 Championship, the title could go to any one of a half dozen drivers.Auckland's Connor Adam came to Ruapuna with the Championship lead, and leaves it still leading - but the pack are closing in.

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Jack Milligan 300x170 Jack Milligan is new Championship leader

Published 13 January 2018

Christchurch driver Jack Milligan has sprinted into the lead in the 2017-2018 Toyota 86 Championship with victory in today's race at Mike Pero Motorsport Park, Ruapuna, Christchurch.

Milligan dominated the race from the start and was able to dictate pace over the distance to the chequered flag, though behind him Michael Scott had forced his way through the field to a podium and International Motorsport's Connor Adam hung on to maintain his title hopes.

On his charge through the field, Scott tangled with Tom Alexander mid-corner, the latter spinning off into the infield before regaining the track. Scott also set fastest lap of the race, a 1:37.949 on lap 3.

Another local, Jaden Ransley, was quick in the opening laps and showed true racecraft to hang on as the podium battle swept over him. He finished fourth, two second clear of leading rookie Jordan Baldwin.

Tom Alexander dropped tothe rear of the field while rejoining the race and finished eighth. The former Cantabrian has been battling illness and had missed free practice during the week. 

New inductee Sam Wallace made a clean start to the championship, finishing behind Alexander and ahead of Sam Wright, the Championship's youngest competitor, in the Tony Richards Toyota car.

Toyota 86 Championship round four, race one

1 Jack Milligan

2 Michael Scott

3 Connor Adam

4 Jaden Ransley

5 Jordan Baldwin

6 Bramwell King

7 Peter Vodanovich

8 Tom Alexander

9 Sam Wallace

10 Sam Wright

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