Brown and Ridge fight hard in Toyota 86 racing series Trans-Tasman battle
Nov 7, 2016 By Toyota Australia.
Toyota 86 Racing Series points leader Will Brown grabbed a podium and two fifth places at the opening round of the New Zealand Toyota 86 Championship at Pukekohe Park over the weekend.
A pair of teenage rising stars from this year’s Toyota 86 Racing Series (T86RS) have crossed the Tasman to do battle with their Kiwi cousins in the opening round of the New Zealand Toyota 86 Championship.
Current T86RS points leader Will Brown from Toowoomba in Queensland grabbed a podium and two fifth places at Pukekohe Park over the weekend’s three races, while hard-charger Drew Ridge from the NSW Central Coast was also a consistent front-runner.
The fast and flowing 2.9km circuit located just 50km south of Auckland produced close racing with last year’s NZ champion Ash Blewett, a guest runner at this year’s Bathurst T86RS event, emerging as the round winner.
New Zealand Toyota 86 Championship cars conform to a specification broadly similar to their Australian counterparts; the biggest difference being full slick race rubber in New Zealand compared with ultra-high performance Dunlop Direzza semi-slick tyres in Australia.
Brown quickly got to grips with the racing rubber and track layout to rapidly progress to the pointy end of the 17-car field, while CAMS Academy graduate Ridge moved on from a DNF in the first race to take eighth place in the last two.
Recently crowned Australian Formula 4 single-seater champion, Brown leads the T86RS by 68 points ahead of Sydney-sider David Sieders, with young Canberra ace Cameron Hill a further 94 points back in third.
The fifth and final T86RS event for 2016 is scheduled in support of the Sydney 500 Supercars round at Homebush (Dec 2–4), and with 300 points up for grabs over three races, any driver from the top five positions in the current standings could grab the series win.
The Toyota 86 Racing Series
The Toyota 86 Racing Series is designed to provide an entry point and training ground for up-and-coming drivers, offering a confirmed prize pool of $125,000.
Open to all manual variants of Toyota’s cult-classic sports car*, the series is part of the support program at selected rounds of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship.
In 2016 the Toyota 86 Racing Series runs over five events: May 20–22 (Winton SuperSprint), August 26–28 (Sydney Motorsport Park SuperSprint), September 16–18 (Sandown 500), October 6–9 (Bathurst 1000) and December 2–4 (Sydney 500).
For regular updates and more information go to toyota.com.au/86/racing-series.
* Must be Australian Design Rule (ADR) compliant, fitted with Neal Bates Motorsport mandatory race package, and equipped with Confederation of Australian Motorsport mandated safety equipment.