Smith joins Toyota 86 championship in winning car

Published 29 October 2015

Race driver Kenny Smith is unstoppable.

The Bombay resident has the longest Grand Prix career of any racer in the world, has driven touring cars when single-seaters weren’t on track, raced against and alongside some of the most famous names in Australasian motor racing, and in between has mentored the best and fastest young New Zealand drivers on their way up.

Until very recently, Smith was a guaranteed starter in the New Zealand Grand Prix. He began his motor racing career in 1958, meaning some of the drivers he competes against today have parents who were not born when the motorsport obsession took hold of him.

He says he has ‘lost count’ of the number of Grand Prix races he has started, and of the vast range of machinery he has raced. From hillclimb ‘specials’ to Formula Pacific and Atlantic single-seaters to touring cars and the FT40 race cars used during the first decade of the successful Toyota Racing Series, if it has a steering wheel, Smith has most likely raced it at some point.

Over the decades, many young New Zealand drivers have sought his wise advice as they shaped their career paths. Smith has a keen eye for the outstanding talents that rise through the ranks.

Now, Smith (73) has confirmed he will grid up for the Toyota Finance 86 Championship which starts at Pukekohe on November 7 and 8. He is no stranger to the single make sports coupe category, having finished just outside the top ten in the inaugural championship in 2013-2014.

He will race the number 11 car that took his protégé Tom Alexander to victory in the championship last year.

A record 16 drivers will start the first round at the Pukekohe V8 Supercars meeting on November 7 and 8.

Further rounds are at Hampton Downs on November 28 and 29 and then at three of the rounds of the Toyota Racing Series international championship at Ruapuna, Christchurch on January 16 and 17; Teretonga, Invercargill, January 23 and 24; Manfeild near Palmerston North on February 13 and 14, with the final at the Taupo circuit on March 26 and 27.

Every round of the championship has its own TV coverage with, a full hour running on TV3 a week after each race weekend and also coverage on SKY Sport; race weekend live timing is on the championship website, www.toyotaracing.co.nz and there is real-time narrative of the racing on Twitter.

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Published 3 December 2017

Three race winners, three changes in the points lead: the Toyota 86 Championship has a new name at the top of the points table.

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Scott-dodges-gathering-storm-to-win-Toyota-86-Championship-race-at-Taupo_ARTICLE_300x170 Scott dodges gathering storm to win Toyota 86 Championship race at Taupo

Published 2 December 2017

Aucklander Michael Scott has converted pole position to his first win of the 2017-2018 Toyota 86 Championship at Taupo today (Saturday).

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Tom Alexander leads the 2017-2018 Toyota 86 Racing Championship ARTICLE Alexander looks lethal as Toyota 86 Championship comes to Taupo

Published 29 November 2017

With two outright wins at Pukekohe and the early points lead, returning champion Tom Alexander is shaping as the danger man in the 2017-2018 Toyota 86 Championship.

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