A packed entry list of 35 coupes have been attracted to the inaugural Australian Toyota 86 Series.
Starting its five-round series at the Supercars Winton Super Sprint meeting from May 20-22, the one-make class has exceeded competitor expectations according to Toyota Australia.
Tagged as a grassroots category, the two-door machines have attracted eight drivers under 18 with the split of entrants headed by 16 from New South Wales, eight from Queensland, six from Victoria, two each from South Australia and Tasmania and a single entry from the ACT.
Toyota's sales and marketing director, Tony Cramb said the series had already achieved its objective in fostering young talent in an entry level-style formula.
“In creating the series we aimed for an attainable, grassroots category to help aspiring racers step up to national competition. And it has already achieved that; connecting a fresh batch of emerging motorsport talent to the Toyota brand and the 86,” Cramb said.
“The 86 is the perfect platform to help develop driving and engineering skills, and the racing series package has been designed to be affordable and fast.”
Competitors will fight over a $125,000 prize pool with an entry fee set at $1500 per round.
Toyota has added established racers to the starting line-up to aid the newcomers of the field both on and off the track.
Winton will see double Australian Touring Car Champion Glenn Seton, seasoned V8 Supercar driver Steven Johnson and the experienced single-seater racer Leanne Tander added to the field.
The aforementioned however are not eligible for prizemoney with their primary aim of acting as mentors.
The series is managed by AirTime Autosport under the leadership of prominent motorsport commentator Neil Crompton.
2016 Toyota 86 calendar:
Round 1: Winton Super Sprint May 20-22
Round 2: Sydney Motorsport Park Super Sprint August 26-28
Round 3: Sandown 500 September 16-18.
Round 4: Bathurst 1000 October 6-9.
Round 5: Sydney 500 December 2-4.
Toyota 86 Racing Series competition components
|Motec M150 Electronic Control Unit, TRD engine oil cooler, baffled sump pan, modified throttle stop
|Neil Bates Motorsport custom – 86 Track Spec
|MCA adjustable front and rear coil-over damping system
|18-inch OZ ‘Asfalto' alloy rims
|Dunlop Direzza DZII*86 – 225/40R18 R-spec
|Upgraded rotors (330mm front / 316mm rear) and AP Racing callipers (four-piston front / two-piston rear)
|T86RS-specific rear spoiler
|T86RS-compliant roll-cage, CAMS-compliant race seat and multi-point harness