Testing boost for drivers as Toyota 86 season opener delayed until January
An additional and much-needed testing opportunity will help get drivers up to speed for the forthcoming Toyota 86 Championship after the start of the season was delayed for a second time.
Speed Works confirmed the cancellation of its December 3-5 event at Pukekohe Park due to the ongoing uncertainties and restrictions of the current Covid outbreak and has moved several non- championship classes to an additional event at Hampton Downs over the weekend of 17-19 of December.
TOYOTA GAZOO Racing New Zealand has decided to take the opportunity to use the rescheduled weekend for some much needed testing for its drivers and has delayed the start of the championship‘s first round to Highlands Motorsport Park over the weekend of January 14-16.
"It's close to the Christmas holidays but we felt we had to get something organised for the drivers and ensure all of them have plenty of opportunity to get some running and testing ahead of the season, which of course they have been struggling with over the last couple of months," explained category manager Geoff Short.
The testing weekend will include timed sessions, simulated qualifying sessions and practice starts as well as general practice.
"Safety for competitors and getting their cars ready for the championship is our top priority," added Short. "After discussions it became obvious that although they all want to race as soon as they can, they can see the benefits of delaying and making sure we are 100% ready to go for the South Island. We are confident we'll be racing in January and happy that our drivers and teams will have had some significant additional time to be prepared and ready."
The Toyota 86 will remain a six round championship with the Pukekohe round now becoming the fourth after dropping into the programme of an existing Speed Works race meeting at the iconic track over the weekend of March 4-6.