Allen set to surprise the young guns
Manawatu racer Justin Allen is revved up and ready for his best ever showing in the Best Bars Toyota 86 Championship and is leaving no stone unturned as he builds up for a title challenge.
The 26 year old finished in tenth place in last season's closely-contested championship and crossed the line first at Taupo in one of the three races there before losing the debut win due to a minor start line infringement. The Feilding driver, however, has put that firmly in his rear view mirror and is highly motivated for his best ever showing in his familiar yellow TR86.
"That Taupo race was still a fantastic race even after the end result," he said. "We showed we have the pace to win against the best drivers in the series and it was still a fantastic and fair race against Brock who took the win. I've had disappointments before. A few years ago we ran a V8 in the Manfeild winter series and were in good shape to take the title before a crucial business trip intervened. You take the knocks and you just aim to come back stronger and wiser."
Allen has been keeping sharp during the winter months competing in the Feilding Auto Electrical Winter Series at Manfeild. He's also been clocking up the hours on the simulator and working hard on his fitness levels.
"With status quo with myself and International Motorsport with Grant Lyons engineering me I'm hoping to be fighting for top three results and consistent points scoring right from the first round as that is going to be crucial for anyone making a championship challenge,” he added.
"As an experienced driver and knowing some of the tracks there will hopefully be some advantage in the early rounds as our new competitors get used to these Toyota 86 cars but as the season goes on the field will certainly close up. I'm not too worried about that at all. We know we had some good speed at the end of last season and hopefully can bring that forward to the first round where having the experience with the car will hopefully give us some momentum to start the season.
“I am also really looking forward to heading back down to Ruapuna, I haven’t raced there in four years but I remember having some success in the Mazda national series there so hopefully I’ll be quick to remember the track's quirks to be on the pace early in the weekend.”
Allen will be supported in his third campaign in the championship by NAPA Autoparts, P&C Insurance, Manawatu & TRC Toyota and Feilding Auto Electrical and will be part of the biggest ever field in the eight year history of the category.
At least 22 drivers will race over the six rounds for New Zealand's biggest ever prize fund, a whopping $175,000 package that includes a unique test with iconic V8 Supercar team Tripe Eight Race Engineering.
The season begins in just over seven weeks at Hampton Downs over the weekend of November 12-14.