Teen racer Ransley tackles Toyota championship

Published 19 October 2016

Millennials to the fore: Jaden Ransley isn’t old enough to drive on the road and is still refining his manual gearshift techniques, but the Christchurch racer is taking on a premier motor racing championship this summer.

Born after the turn of the century and just 14 years old, Ransley is three weeks from his premier motor racing debut on the fast straights of Pukekohe in the 2016-2017 Toyota 86 Championship.

Currently a student at St Thomas of Canterbury College, Ransley is stepping directly from a successful karting career and joining what may be a category-record grid of racers all with their eyes on the championship’s top prize and a share of the $100,000 championship prize purse.

Across all six rounds and 18 races the championship attracted 27 drivers in 2015-2016. In the countdown to the opening round in November, the championship shows every sign of breaking its own record with a starting grid of up to 22 drivers for the first round that includes returning racers and new arrivals in almost equal number.

“It’s going to be tough, that’s for sure, all the drivers will be going for it. [Category manager] Geoff Short has done a huge job of promoting the championship, it’s awesome,” he said.

Ransley, who won the 100cc Junior Yamaha Class at the 2016 Kartsport NZ Sprint Championship, is the second Millennial to race the championship, following in the steps of another Christchurch racer, Marcus Armstrong.

Ransley has tested at Hampton Downs and was a finalist in the 2016-2017 CareVets Racing Toyota Scholarship. He said the chance to be part of the CareVets scholarship evaluation was a great opportunity to get familiar with the car, helping to make the transition from karting smoother; and receiving tips from judge and mentor Greg Murphy was memorable.

“Having Greg come out for some laps was pretty cool. He really helped me with advice that immediately helped me go quicker,” he said.

Another Christchurch racer, Ryan Yardley, has been valuable source of advice going into the first round at Pukekohe.

Jaden Ransley is sponsored by Harcourts and expects to announce further backing before the first round of the championship.

The 2016-2017 Toyota 86 Championship starts at the ITM V8 Supercar event at Pukekohe November 4-6. All rounds of the championship are televised and the $100,000 prize purse across the championship is the biggest in New Zealand’s current premier motor racing.


The 2016-2017 Toyota 86 Championship

Round 1   4 – 6 November 2016   Pukekohe Park Raceway, Pukekohe
Round 2   9 – 11 December 2016   Taupo Motorsport Park, Taupo
Round 3   13 -15 January 2017   Mike Pero Motorsport Park, Ruapuna, Christchurch
Round 4   20 - 22 January 2017   Teretonga Park, Invercargill
Round 5   10 - 12 Feb 2017   Manfeild, Feilding
Round 6   10 – 12 Mar 2017   Hampton Downs

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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Peter Vodanovich DSC_5966 web article listing size Vodanovich takes the fast way forward

Published 8 January 2018

Peter Vodanovich joins the 2017-2018 Toyota 86 Championship with a mission.

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