Going into his third championship season, Auckland’s Callum Quin has a new weapon in his arsenal: endurance.
The 19 year old Aucklander came to the Toyota Finance 86 Championship from the BMW single make series, and is fast becoming an expert in the intense cut and thrust of single make touring car racing.
This year he will combine his natural speed with experience and setup data gained by competing in his TR 86 race car in the winter endurance racing series. A class win in one enduro round was almost matched by a strong performance in the final until the car ran short of fuel in the final three laps, forcing him to coast home and miss a class victory.
“But the setup information we got and the massive seat time at Pukekohe are hugely worthwhile. I think we are the best prepared we ever have been for the coming championship,” he said.
His endurance racing campaign means Quin is likely to have logged more laps of Pukekohe – the venue for the opening round of the coming championship – than anyone in the 16-strong field.
“One of the great things about the TR 86 is that it is a whole race car, and you can use it in the championship, race endurance events over winter and even go out and do a Targa. It’s a very adaptable platform,” he said.
Callum Quin began his racing career in 2005, at the age of nine. Like so many race drivers, he learned his craft in the intensely competitive world of karting, making his racing debut in cadet karts and taking top ten and top five positions in 2005, 2006 and 2007. His best karting result came in 2010, a second overall in the Junior 100cc Yamaha class.
At age 14 Quin moved into Formula First, finishing the 2011 championship in 15th place. Moving into touring cars, at the 2013 Festival of Motor Racing he won one race for the E30 class and had three podium finishes and a fastest lap.
Currently studying at tertiary level, Quin says his career ambition is two-fold: to become a professional racing driver or a race engineer with a top team. In the meantime, he has his sights set on winning the Toyota Finance 86 Championship. With a third in the inaugural championship, fourth last year, thirteen podium finishes and a race win across the past two championships he is well placed to fulfil his next goal.
Organisers of the 2015 Toyota Finance 86 Championship say interest in the category is at record levels with a starting grid for the first round of 16 cars.
Drivers and race fans have been able to view the New Zealand-built TR 86 race cars used in the championship at the CRC Speedshow where its first driver commitment, Reid Harker of Albany, was announced. Aspiring race drivers from all over New Zealand have taken every opportunity to test the race cars at Manfeild, Hampton Downs and Ruapuna.
Championship coordinator Geoff Short says the championship stands alongside the Toyota Racing Series for its potential to help rising race drivers achieve their career goals.
“The cars are purpose-built for racing, very evenly matched and the championship is affordable, with team, car ownership and lease options available,” he said.
The 2015-2016 Toyota Finance 86 Championship starts at the Pukekohe round of the Australian V8 Supercar series on November 7 and 8. It shares several rounds with the Toyota Racing Series and will have its own TV coverage package with a one hour time-slot on TV3 a week after each round.