TOYOTA GAZOO Racing New Zealand and the Tony Quinn Foundation have revealed more details of the unique prize awaiting the winner of this season’s closely contested Toyota 86 Championship – which concludes this weekend.
The Supercar test with Triple Eight Race Engineering has been the talk of the season amongst the category racers and for the winner it will all begin on Sunday 19th June when they fly out of New Zealand and head across the ditch to Australia.
On Monday June 20th they will head to the Triple Eight Race Engineering workshop in Banyo, Brisbane for a seat fitting in the team’s workshops to ensure they are comfortable and properly set up in the car for the official test, which will take place on Wednesday 22nd of June at Queensland, aboard one of the team’s Super 2 specification Supercars.
After the test, they’ll stay in Australia for one more night before flying home – without any isolation requirement – on Thursday June 23. All flights and accommodation are included in the prize package.
The title fight is as close as any in the nine year history of the championship. Simon Evans set the early pace with success in the South Island, but the North Island rounds have seen Rowan Shepherd catch and pass Evans on points.
They have been joined at the top of the table in the race to the Supercar test by Marco Giltrap after his strong Taupo weekend and Justin Allen after his epic double victory and round win haul at Pukekohe Park. Three more drivers, taking the total to seven, will still have a mathematical chance of victory heading into the first of the weekend’s races.
The historic prize is recognition that the TR86 series is now the premier saloon car championship in New Zealand. The Tony Quinn Foundation is a relatively new initiative aimed at supporting young Kiwi drivers with the talent and determination to make it on the world stage.
“We’ve been delighted to see the tight competition throughout the 86 field this year, and the young talent that is giving it a crack for the first time,” said Tony Quinn Foundation Trustee Josie Spillane. “As with any new business or foundation, you learn a lot in your first year and we’ve been impressed with the calibre of development in many of the drivers.
“As a foundation in our first year, we like the guys and gals in the 86 series, and we are really looking forward to further hitting our straps next year too. While there can only be one winner, it’s fair to say, given the abundance of young talent in the field, that there are some potential future champions to keep an eye on and the trustees of the TQ Foundation will certainly be doing that.”
It’s a philosophy mirrored by TGRNZ and its own determination to find New Zealand’s next world champion racing driver.
“It all comes down to this weekend for the 2022 championship field and there’s no question the winner will not only be a very worthy one, but a driver who will shine in the prize test and have Supercar Superlicence points already in their back pocket,” added TOYOTA GAZOO Racing New Zealand Motorsport Manager Nicolas Caillol.
Just three races remain in the 2022 championship chase, with one this Saturday and two on Sunday at the season finale at the Hampton Downs Motorsport Park.