Blewett and McNee tied for championship lead

Published 28 November 2014

Bravery and precision are the order of the day for the drivers in New Zealand’s leading one-make sports coupe series as they prepare to race on the fast straights and bumpy corners of the Pukekohe circuit in south Auckland.

Wellington driver Jamie McNee arrives at Pukekohe this weekend with the single-minded aim of defending his title. He currently shares the series lead on 187 points with Ash Blewett.

The opening round of the championship at Taupo highlighted the close and fiercely competitive nature of the racing, with three drivers taking wins.

Former Wanganui driver Matt Gibson won the first race in the Lighting Plus car. McNee, driving for the ETEC Tyreplus team, won the second.

When the leading cars were taken out of contention in a spectacular crash halfway through the third race of the first round Christchurch driver Marcus Armstrong won his first Toyota Finance 86 Championship race.

Fourteen-year-old Armstrong, who is mentored by experienced race driver and engineer Andy Neale, took the lead with four laps to go and held out a hard-charging Ash Blewett to win and become the youngest driver to win a Toyota category race in New Zealand.

Seven of the drivers who contested the inaugural championship are back for another tilt at the title: McNee, Blewett, Gibson, Armstrong, Callum Quin, Tom Alexander and Neil Allport. The 2.91 km Pukekohe circuit is the fastest in the championship and the race lap record for the category was set by experienced touring car racer Angus Fogg in the inaugural championship: he set a 1:15.159 in the third race of the 2013 weekend.

The 2014-2015 Toyota Finance 86 Championship is open to teams and drivers using the New Zealand-built TR 86 race cars and will be contested over six rounds. It has its own TV package (screening on the Friday after each event) and features races at V8 Supertourer and Toyota Racing Series events on circuits from Invercargill to Auckland.

Pictured: Jamie McNee leads the field during the second race at Taupo. This image is attached in original resolution and images of other championship drivers are available by email request.

Points totals after round one of the Toyota Finance 86 Championship

Position Car No. Driver Total
1= 69 Jamie McNee 187
1= 66 Ash Blewett 187
3 91 Callum Quin 163
4 9 Marcus Armstrong 156
5 11 Tom Alexander 145
6 88 Matt Gibson 142
7 8 Neil Allport 133
8 15 Bruce Thomlinson 129
9 58 Cory Holmes 84
Pukekohe’s Lawson wins prestigious race scholarship

Published 11 August 2017

He’s a young man in a hurry, juggling his studies with a motor racing career. Just 15 years old, Liam Lawson has won the 2017-2018 CareVets Racing Scholarship to race in the coming Toyota 86 Championship.

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Toyota 86 Championship moves to Hankook tyres

Published 26 July 2017

The category manager of the Toyota 86 Championship has announced a switch to a semi-slick tyre from Hankook for the 2017-2018 series.

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CareVets team-mates deliver perfect Toyota 86 Championship result

Published 13 March 2017

Christchurch drivers Ryan Yardley and Jack Milligan have handed CareVets team boss Keith Houston the perfect championship result.

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