Top five return for Toyota Finance 86 championship

Top five return for Toyota Finance 86 championship

The Toyota Finance 86 Championship, returns to the track this weekend and the top five drivers from last season are back to do battle once more.

Returning racers including last season’s champion Jamie McNee, Ash Blewett and Callum Quin (second and third in the 2013-2014 series), Aucklander Tom Alexander (fourth in 2013-2014) and Matt Gibson (fifth in 2013-2014).

The championship kicks off at Ricoh Taupo Motorsport Park this weekend as part of the opening round of the BNT NZ V8 Supertourer series.

The youngest driver on the grid will be 14 year old Marcus Armstrong of Christchurch, (son of Dealership mogul and Porsche GT3 racer Rick Armstrong) who has been making a name for himself in karting at national level and internationally.

Toyota Racing New Zealand category manager Barrie Thomlinson says the return of the leading five is great news.
“We are looking forward to some exciting and spectacular motor racing this weekend,” he says
Multiple New Zealand rally champion and race driver Neil Allport has entered in his own car.

New to the series is Cory Holmes, a racer with a surname that will be familiar to rally fans: his father is Stumpy Holmes, 1999 New Zealand group N rally champion. The next generation of the family, Waiuku-based Holmes comes to the TR86 grid with Ministock and speedway experience and was second in the 2013-2014 Formula First championship.

Bruce Thomlinson from Australia joins Ash Blewett to make up a two-car West City Motorsport team.

The championship will be fought out over six rounds with a substantial prize purse at stake for the winners, it is designed to enable young racers to gain skills and experience in modern race cars on New Zealand’s most exciting circuits as they advance their racing careers.

All TR 86 race cars are built by the team at Toyota Racing’s headquarters at Mount Wellington in Auckland. The cars’ specification includes an FIA-approved multi-point competition roll cage, adjustable competition suspension, racing brake rotors and calipers and 18-inch Speedline alloy wheels. The cockpit features competition seats, racing harnesses and steering wheel, with data provided to the driver by a Motec C125 colour screen dash.

The 2014-2015 Toyota Finance 86 Championship has its own TV package (screening on the Friday after each event) and features races at V8 Supertourer, Toyota Racing Series and independent race events on circuits from Invercargill to Auckland.

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