A record number of 15 rising race drivers will do battle for two prized seats in the 2018-2019 Toyota 86 Championship on Monday.
The CareVets Racing team has won the championship for two years running and has propelled drivers on to racing careers in a range of single-seaters and ‘tin top’ categories. It operates within the single-make championship which is acknowledged to be one of the best foundations for a racing career for young New Zealand drivers.
To win one of two drives, members of the squad will go through on-track familiarisations, fitness tests, interviews in front of the CareVets judging panel, and track driving sessions in the TR 86 race cars.
Team head Dr Keith Houston says the CareVets Racing team aims to maximize the competitiveness of its drivers in the championship, supporting them with a professional team environment.
“The CareVets team was created with the express aim of nurturing young racing talent and teaching drivers race-craft, judgement and how to channel and control the natural aggression that every race driver needs in order to win. Our drivers have won the last two Toyota 86 Championships and gone on to success here and in Australia,” he said.
The championship itself is a proven incubator of motor racing talent. Five of the six Kiwis who raced the Castrol Toyota Racing Series this year (including Marcus Armstrong, now competing in the FIA European Formula Three Championship) also contested the Toyota 86 Championship.
This year’s squad is 15 strong, with one reserve. The drivers include Greg Murphy’s son Ronan and Zac Stichbury, karter and son of another of New Zealand’s finest racing drivers Ashley (Ash).
All scholarship applicants must be aged between of 15 – 25 years. The aim is to ensure that a future champion can be nurtured through the course of the year. Starting at 8.00 am on Monday April 30, the squad will be tested at Hampton Downs racing circuit south of Auckland and the winners announced late afternoon.
Many of those who test for the CareVets drives but are not selected are later able to bring together their own racing challenges for the championship.