First generation Toyota 86 to live on in winter Toyota 86 Trophy Series

Toyota 86 Trophy Series (940 x 450)

TOYOTA GAZOO Racing New Zealand has today confirmed it will launch a new winter series for its older generation Toyota 86 cars next season.

The new Toyota 86 Trophy Series will begin in May 2025 and will run exclusively over the winter months with the official launch at this weekend’s two-day KartSport-run TOYOTA GAZOO Racing New Zealand Rose City Challenge 2024 karting event in Palmerston North.

It will be a grassroots non-championship status series running from May to July designed to be a high quality entry level feeder series for drivers either looking to progress to the new GR86 Championship, or who just wish to compete in a thoroughbred race car with a proven history in providing great racing and great motorsport talent.

Toyota New Zealand’s Managing Director Neeraj Lala says it reflects the company’s desire to support motorsport at all levels.

“Motorsport is a feature of our wider strategy here in New Zealand,” he explained. “In the case of the new Toyota 86 Trophy Series it is a reflection not only of our passion for supporting the sport at grassroots level but to also find a sustainable solution for the earlier generation car. That passion is actually part of our core corporate values.”

The Trophy Series takes TOYOTA GAZOO Racing New Zealand’s commitment to domestic motorsport to three categories along with the international single seater Castrol Toyota FR Oceania Championship and the Toyota GR86 Championship.

“Running or supporting three motorsport categories shows we are continuing and indeed expanding our motorsport programme,” added Andrew Davis, TGRNZ General Manager.

“We’ve had a huge amount of interest in the new GR86 car since we opened up sales and right now we are looking at a strong grid for the inaugural season but on the sporting side we also recognise the older car still has something considerable to offer to the sport here in New Zealand and that’s why we want to retain a racing series for it within our portfolio.”

Race formats, event dates and regulations are still to be finalised but TGRNZ Motorsport Manager Nicolas Caillol hopes the Toyota 86 Trophy Series will form an important stepping stone into the GR86 Championship.

“Over the years the main championship has become more and more competitive,” he explained. “The creation of the Trophy Series adds another important layer to the pathway for our competitors, ensuring they have the best preparation possible on their way to reaching championship level motorsport.”