May 26, 2020
Australia's aspiring race drivers will have another two years to develop and hone their craft under the eye of professional drivers with Toyota confirming its popular grassroots 86 racing series will be run through to the end of 2022 season.
An evolution of the Toyota 86 Racing Series, the new TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Australia 86 Series is backed by TGR - a global force in motorsport - and strengthens Toyota's commitment in supporting motorsport at all levels from the grassroots community to its world championship-winning WRC and WEC teams.
With the current COVID-19 crisis enveloping the globe, Toyota Chief Marketing Officer Wayne Gabriel said it was important to be able to offer hope for the future and Toyota's extended support of the TGRA 86 Series provided an opportunity for aspiring race drivers to follow their dreams.
"For the past four years, the 86 racing series has given talented youngsters, passionate enthusiasts and the tight-knit community that supports them, the opportunity to regularly come together to do something they love while also providing motorsport fans with plenty of thrilling wheel-to-wheel racing action," Mr Gabriel said.
"Toyota is committed to continuing to deliver on that for another two years beyond the 2020 season giving drivers and teams the security of knowing that their investment in pursuing their passion won't be short lived.
"And at the same time, we can guarantee fans exhilarating grassroots motor racing action on some of the best circuits Australia has to offer," he said.
As a one-make series with all teams competing in near-identical Toyota 86 racecars, the TGRA 86 Series offers drivers the chance to truly learn and develop their skills, assisted by the series mentor and two invited professional drivers at each round.
The TGRA 86 Series comprises five rounds run as a support category in select Supercars Championship events with grids of more than 30 cars ensuring tight exciting racing.
In addition to the glory of taking the championship title, drivers compete for a prize pool of $150,000 with cash prizes of $50,000, $30,000 and $15,000 for the top three podium positions at the end of the season.
The coveted Kaizen Award for continuous improvement, valued at $35,000, will again be awarded to the driver who shows the greatest improvement over the course of the season.
All competitors drive a Toyota 86 that has been modified with a high performance affordable race package developed by Neal Bates Motorsport, that can have them on the track for under $75,000 including the cost of the original road car.Hino Motor Sales Australia and Dunlop Tyres, which have been on board since the beginning, have also committed to maintaining their support for one of Australia's most exciting grassroots motorsport championships through to the 2022 season.