Sam Cotterill will be back in action in this year’s Toyota 86 Championship with one goal in mind: Moving up the order.
Last season was the Auckland driver’s first of circuit racing of any sort which meant the entire campaign was a steep learning curve as he came to grips with the series.
He handled the jump impressively, staying out of trouble and keeping his head down as his pace improved each round. He also competed in the Supercars non-championship weekend at Pukekohe and made further steps forward, raising expectations for the season ahead.
Cotterill is hoping for a further step up in performance again when the 2023 championship gets underway next month at Highlands Motorsport Park.
“I got a lot better through last season and learned a lot and for this season I’m taking all of that and hopefully using it to move up the grid in a significant way,” he explained at the recent Hampton Downs test day for 2023 drivers.
“Last year it was about learning the first 90%, now it is about finding the last 10% and of course that’s the difference between the back and the front of the field, which is looking very competitive again.
“We’ve gone from literally learning which way to turn out of pit lane and understanding how a race meeting works to analysing the data and working on refining the car set up and all of the processes that come with that.
“It feels totally different this year with that experience behind me. I still want to enjoy what I am doing and stay grounded about how we are approaching it, but for sure this season there is a little more intent behind what we will look to do and more focus on what we can achieve.
“If I ended up moving from the guys at the back and start mixing it up with the drivers in the mid field, I’m going to be stoked with that.”
Header Image: Sam Cotterill is keen to be a player in the mid field pack in the Toyota 86 Championship
Picture: Bruce Jenkins