Stichbury latest big name to confirm for Toyota 86 season

Zac Stichbury (940 x 450)

Auckland racer Zac Stichbury is the latest driver to throw his hat into the ring for what is shaping up to be a sensational 2021-2022 Best Bars Toyota 86 Championship.

And the second year Industrial Design student's first competitive laps in his Toyota 86 could well be his first in the car he'll race this coming season if the lockdowns aren't eased before round one. Not that it's phasing the up and coming star.

The 20 year old has six seasons of karting under his belt. He's a former National Schools Rotax Lite championship winner and Senior Lite Class winner of the New Zealand Rotax Max Challenge - both of which were won during a very impressive 2018 season.

He's also completed two seasons in Formula Ford in a self-run team - finishing fourth in the points table in 2019-2020 with an impressive six podium finishes. Zac says it was the appeal of the big Toyota 86 field and the highly competitive nature of the category that caught his eye and encouraged him to put a deal to compete together.

"It was a late decision to compete but the coverage and quality of drivers really caught my attention, as well as the amazing prizes on offer," he said. "I want to race the best and have an equal car to compete with and I can do that in this championship. I know it's going to be competitive with a big learning curve. There's going to be an awful lot to learn and get on top of in a short amount of time.

“Being my first season, it’ll be about building connections with my team and sponsors and getting the most I can out of the car. If all that goes to plan, I hope to be up the front. I look forward to the challenge and I’m excited to see what happens."

Like many drivers based in the Auckland region, getting some extensive testing miles under his belt ahead of the season has been wiped out. His only time in a Toyota 86 to date was when he took part in the CareVets Scholarship test a few seasons back, but he's doing what he can off the track to prepare himself for the first round of the six round championship at Hampton Downs next month.

"I have been able to focus on keeping myself fit and making sure my fitness levels are as good as they can be before I get my first go in the car, which will hopefully be as soon as we get into level 2. There's not much else I can do being here in Auckland,” he added.

Zac's first competitive season in tin tops will be supported by Auckland City Toyota/Armstrong’s Group, Porter Group, Giltrap Group, Stephen Hill Motors, Stratco NZ Ltd, KPC Plumbing and Drainage, Progressive Meats, Post Haste, Top Town Tyres, Future Finance and IPK New Zealand.

He'll join more than 20 other drivers for the start of the season at Hampton Downs over the weekend of November. All will be racing for an impressive $175,000 prize package that includes a V8 Supercar test with Triple Eight Race Engineering and cash prizes for the top points finishers in the championship.