Cockerton continues top ten form in Toyota 86 series debut

| Photographer Credit: Bruce Jenkins

Fresh from competing in the 2016 Toyota Racing Series, Pukekohe’s Taylor Cockerton made his ‘tin-top’ debut at the final round of the Toyota Finance 86 Championship in Taupo over the weekend. Having competed in single seater racing, Cockerton was given the opportunity to compete in the one-make controlled saloon car series at the Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park.

At the round, Aucklander Ash Blewett won the overall title for the season while Cockerton enjoyed three top ten results and set the fastest lap in the second race of the weekend.

“I thought it was a really good weekend,” commented Cockerton. “The results didn’t necessarily reflect how successful it was for us. We were always going to struggle to put it up at the front of the field but we were fast in testing, and used the experience to get used to the car and this form of racing, which was quite a challenge.

“The biggest difference to the single seater racing is the intensity. I found it was important to slow my response down. In these cars it is really important to be smooth as it is easy to over drive them.”

Having recently raced in the Toyota Racing Series and experienced the down force created by slick tyres and aerodynamics, Cockerton was impressed by the Toyota TR86 car.

“Even on old tyres it is amazing how much grip there is and how fast you can take the corners. The racing is extremely close and it is quite difficult to pass.

“The competition in this class is very high as all drivers are incredibly quick.”

Despite this Cockerton and his team have come away from the happy with the experience.

“It’s been a great weekend, especially in the last race the battle from fourth to ninth with five other drivers was great and we were right in it which I really enjoyed. A huge thank you to Toyota Racing and Geoff Short to be able to participate in the series.”

Heading into the round championship leader Ash Blewett did enough to secure the overall win despite a weekend fraught with problems. Brake problems saw him crash in testing on Friday. However, the team had the car ready for qualifying and race one on Saturday which he won from pole position winning the title. The problem continued to plague the car on Sunday. Callum Quin finished second overall from John Penny with Ryan Yardley winning rookie of the year.

Cockerton and his team now turn their focus to the rest of the 2016 season in preparation for the 2017 Toyota Racing Series in January.


Race 1 – 8 laps
1 Ashley Blewett
2 Ryan Yardley
3 Jacob Smith
4 Michael Scott
5 Jayden Dodge
6 Reid Harker
7 John Penny
8 Callum Quin
9 Taylor Cockerton
10 Martin Short
11 Mike Lightfoot
12 Tom Stokes

Race 2 – 8 laps
1 Ryan Yardley
2 Jayden Dodge
3 Reid Harker
4 John Penny
5 Callum Quin
6 Michael Scott
7 Taylor Cockerton
8 Martin Short
9 Mike Lightfoot
10 Tom Stokes
11 Jacob Smith
12 Ashley Blewett

Race 3 – 12 laps
1 Michael Scott
2 Jacob Smith
3 Ryan Yardley
4 Callum Quin
5 Jayden Dodge
6 John Penny
7 Mike Lightfoot
8 Taylor Cockerton
9 Reid Harker
10 Martin Short
11 Tom Stokes
dns Ashley Blewett

Benjamin Carrell is a freelance motorsport writer and currently edits He writes for a number of Kiwi drivers and motorsport clubs. That's when he's not working in his horticultural day-job or training for the next road or mtb cycle race!

Related Stories

GR86 Championship car revealed

TalkMotorsport Medium Read Length MEDIUM READ

Join in the conversation!