Single seater champion set for Toyota 86 campaign
Rising star Matthew Mccutcheon is the latest big name to confirm a place in this season's Best Bars Toyota 86 Championship.
The 18 year old reigning North Island Formula Ford champion has an impressive track record and a high degree of versatility which will serve him well as he targets rookie honours in what will be a highly-contested championship season.
In an excellent NI Formula Ford season driving the car owned and run by the Van Gisbergen family, East Aucklander Matthew also finished runner up in the national Formula Ford championship taking four wins and eight podium finishes on the way. He won the 2019 Western Springs F2 Midgets series and has raced in Formula First as part of the SpeedSport Scholarship, as well as having tested Toyota's FT60 car recently.
"I’ve been racing since I was nine years old," he explained. "I started out racing speedway and was the youngest feature winner at Western Springs in an adult class when I was 15. I went on to win the championship and then had the opportunity to run an A grade midget which also went well and was a lot of fun. That's when I also made the switch to the circuits in the Manfeild Winter Series for Formula First, and it's all carried on from there really.
"I've been very lucky to have interest from Shane and his dad in my career and driving their car was a real privilege."
A year 13 student currently studying for his Level 3 NCEA exams, Matthew is keeping his feet firmly grounded on predictions for the coming season, but is quietly confident and has been pouring over in car video footage as the clock counts down to the season as part of his preparation.
"Being one of the cars on the starting grid is going to be very exciting and a big part of my development as a racing driver," he added.
"Coming from racing open wheelers, I am really excited to get out there and have some fierce competition with close margins that will help push me. It would be great to be out there racing for wins and that's obviously the ultimate goal, but I know how tough this series in and my first priority will be to get up to speed and be competitive in the rookie standings. Anything beyond that will be a great bonus."
Matthew's campaign will be supported by Varcoe Air Conditioning and Heat Pumps, BSR, Vincent Street Auto Centre Howick and Paul Nisbet and Dean McLachlan at Fenway Strategic Partners. He will be run by Action Motorsport when the first round takes to the track at Hampton Downs - his favourite circuit - in early November.
He'll also be on a circuit he knows well when round two heads to Pukekohe in December before the series breaks for Christmas. After that it's off to the South Island for rounds two and three at Highlands Motorsport Park and Ruapuna, Christchurch. The championship then returns to the North Island for the Grand Prix in February and concludes at the Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park, Taupo in late March.