Orr-West targeting top spots for second Best Bars campaign
Christina Orr-West is targeting top three race results as she gets ready for her second season in the Best Bars Toyota 86 Championship with Dayle ITM Racing.
Whakatane dairy farmer Christina is one of the most experienced drivers in the championship – and indeed in New Zealand – having raced in Indy Lights during her career and a wide variety of domestic championships including the Castrol Toyota Racing Series.
Last season Christina (33) stood on the Best Bars Toyota 86 Championship podium when she grabbed third place in the first race at Manfeild. Her season was hindered by a rib injury from the first round at Hampton Downs and with that now fully healed, she’s raring to go.
“We found some real speed last season,” said Orr-West. “But there is still a lot more to find. Some of that will come from me and some will come from the car set-up.
“I feel really good coming into this season’s championship. The size and quality of the field indicate it’s going to be a very hard fought and competitive championship and I’m already excited about that.
"I’ve not raced at Highlands in an 86, only in more high-powered GT machinery, so I’m interested to see how the car goes there. My goal is simple really, to fight for top three positions in every race and to grab a win or more if I can. That’ll make me and the team very happy and it’s a realistic goal I believe.
"My engineers Richard McChesney, Ron Van der Horst and Dave Lowe have been working so hard to get the car sorted and to my liking so that’ll be a big plus for me as well when we hit the track at Hampton Downs for the start of the championship. Christina’s car will once again run in the iconic yellow colours of Dayle ITM."
The 2021-2022 Best Bars Toyota 86 Championship begins at Hampton Downs Motorsport Park over the weekend of November 12-14 before a short trip to Pukekohe Park three weeks later over the weekend of December 3-5.
After the Christmas break the teams and drivers will head south to Cromwell for the Highlands weekend on January 14-16 and then move to Christchurch for the Ruapuna weekend on January 21-23. Three weekends later it’s back to Hampton Downs on February 11-13 for the New Zealand Grand Prix meeting before the season finale at the Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park, Taupo on March 25-27.