Way back in 2016 Toyota hatched a plan to bring the world a fun one-make series with their legendary 86 model.
The aim is to foster the talent of young up and coming drivers who do not have the dollars to race the open-wheelers circuit.
So why was I on a plane headed to Sydney? Well Toyota had arranged a special day at Sydney Motorsport Park. Everyone who attended the event was secretly hoping that Toyota would surprise us with the new Supra!
Unfortunately our dreams were not realised…
The event centered around the announcement that the Toyota 86 Racing Series was being extended until 2020!
This was great news and all thanks to a gang-buster two year program that has exceeded Toyota’s expectations.
Toyota’s 86 Racing Series started with a bang! Quickly they established the series as one of the most exciting one-make racing series Australia has ever seen!
Since 2016 the Toyota 86 Racing Series has been developing bit by bit with incremental improvements to make this series the best it can possibly be.
The affordable, grassroots motorsport series will be extended to 18 scheduled races at six tracks in four states! That’s up from the 15 races scheduled in previous years.
Neal Bates was on hand to instruct on the day and help us motorsport journalists get around the track safely. Neal has been instrumental in the setup of the 86’s suspension, handling; and full package that the drivers receive when they purchase and enter the 86 Racing Series.
So where is the new 2019 Toyota 86 hiding? No Supra? No new 86 shape? I was still hoping that Toyota would have a surprise up their sleeve.
For those who have already been racing for the last two years there is going to be no car update going forward until 2020. Toyota has confirmed that they will be staying with the 2016 shape and platform to lower the cost for entrants while keeping the playing field even.
Minor changes have been made for the 2018 season. These include a change to a Dunlop tyre that will give the cars more grip over longer races. The previous tyre they were using tended to fade quiet fast.
The other minor change is adjustable rear camber. This change was made to stop competitors complaining that some drivers seemed to have more rear camber than others.
This changes should help even up the racing and make the action even more intense! As with last year there are a host of guest drivers to keep the young ones on their toes.
These include drivers like Jonathan Webb, Leanne Tander, Warren Luff, Steve Owen and rising star Harry Bates.
This racing action will make your palms sweaty and may even give you flashbacks of the original v8 Brutes Series. One thing is for sure the racing is aggressive and fast paced.
The 2018 action starts on April 20-22 at Phillip Island and then they are off to Townsville in July. Yet the most exciting event, apart from Mount Panorama, is the awesome new race track in South Australia. This will be held at the Bend Motorsport Park at Tailem Bend in August.
The series prize pool has been increased to $150,000 with competitors finishing the year from fourth to eighth places also now sharing in the cash.
The top three will continue to receive $50,000, $30,000, and $15,000 respectively.
There are rumors on the grape vine that Toyota are running the 86 Racing Series until 2020 because that is when they may be introducing the new Toyota 86 to the world; but we will have to wait and see if this is true.
Along with the experience of driving the Racing 86 around Sydney Motorsport Park we were also given the opportunity to have some fun on the skid pan with the new 2018 86 GTS.
The Toyota 86 is truly the do anything car! Great as a daily and great on the track! It is the best choice for this one of a kind one-make series.
If you want to see more 86 Racing action make sure you keep an eye on Toyota Racing Australia for updates.
We can’t thank Toyota enough for giving us the opportunity to experience the 86 Racing Series first hand on the official 2018 press and media day for the 2018 86 Racing Series.
2018 Toyota 86 Racing Series race dates:
April 20-22 – Phillip Island
July 6-8 – Townsville
August 24-26 — Bend Motorsport Park
September 14-16 – Sandown
October 4-7 – Mount Panorama
November 23-25 – Newcastle
Thanks for reading,