New circuits to test drivers in Toyota Finance 86 Championship
The drivers and teams in New Zealand’s premier one make racing series will test their skills at two tracks new to the series in the 2014-2015 championship.
The Toyota Finance 86 Championship will start in mid-September on the fast straights, chicanes and tricky infield corners of the Ricoh Taupo Motorsport Park. The second of six rounds is south of Auckland at Pukekohe – possibly the fastest circuit contested by the series – at the end of November. Both of these events will be part of the V8 Supertourer series race weekends.
Heading into the new year, the championship joins the single-seater Toyota Racing Series at Ruapuna outside Christchurch on January 17 and 18, the first time the 86 series has visited Ruapuna. A week later the championship follows TRS to Teretonga at Invercargill, the southernmost permanent race circuit in the world.
The championship takes a break until it rejoins TRS at Manfeild for the New Zealand Grand Prix race meeting on February 14 and 15.
The final round, slightly more than a month later, sees the series join the Independent Racing Championship event at Hampton Downs.
Toyota New Zealand Motorsport Manager Steve Boyce said Motorsport New Zealand has announced a calendar designed to take drivers to some of the most popular circuits in the inaugural championship and challenge them with the addition of Ruapuna and Teretonga.
“The inaugural series saw some fantastic close racing from some of the rising stars of New Zealand motorsport. A total of 18 drivers contested the series and we are in the process of confirming entries for the second season. It’s going to be another exciting series,” he said.
Only TR 86 race cars built for the series are eligible to race, and there are a limited number of new cars available for purchase. A generous prize fund is anticipated for the Championship.
The winner of the 2013-2014 Championship, Jamie McNee, says the experience was a definite highlight of his motor racing career.
“The racing was so close with the cars being so similar so it was really down to the team and the driver. It was fantastic to have a wide range of drivers over the course of the season which kept the racing interesting,” he said.