Chelsea Herbert will compete in the 2021-’22 season of the Best Bars Toyota 86 Championship.
This marks Herbert’s return to tin-top racing after taking the opportunity to race in the 2020 season of the Castrol Toyota Racing Series.
It will also be the first time Herbert has raced in 18 months after a crash at Teretonga left her with a broken back.
“I’m really excited to be racing again, I am fully recovered and more than ready to get back behind the wheel,” Herbert said.
“It’s been two years since I’ve been in a tin top so I’m looking forward to honing in on my experience and skills. I haven’t run an H pattern gearbox since I was in Class 2 V8s back in 2017, so that will be an area where I will need to blow out the cobwebs and focus.”
Herbert will race as part of the Heart of Racing entry that will be run by the International Motorsport team.
“I’ve tested the car now and even though it doesn’t have the outright pace of other cars I have driven in recent years, I came in smiling from ear to ear. It was really fun to drive.
“It feels very light compared to the TLX V8 and the FT-60 so it will be good fun learning how to balance the car right on the edge. I think the most important part of driving the 86 will be keeping the momentum up, due to the lower power.
“My TRS campaign was set to be the most challenging series I would have competed in so far and I was really looking forward to it.
“It was unfortunate to have such an abrupt end to my championship, but I’m super grateful to be lining up on the grid this season in the Toyota 86 series.
“I will tackle this championship like I have any other, from go karts through to TRS. I will focus hard on improving my speed and lap times in testing and then race hard from there. It’s going to be super-competitive but I am aiming to be at the sharp end as quickly as possible.”
Competing as part of the Heart of Racing team is significant for Herbert.
“I am really proud to be a part of The Heart of Racing. Being a Starship kid myself, competing for their cause is very important for me. Having the opportunity to make a difference on and off the track this season is something very special.
“I feel lucky to be involved in this opportunity for young kiwis like me, and racing with International Motorsport is a dream. I am feeling very grateful to be in such capable hands heading into this season.”
Herbert will get her first race in the championship at Hampton Downs Motorsport Park November 12-14 when the first round of the upcoming season gets underway.