Justin Allen has confirmed that he will rejoin the Best Bars Toyota 86 Championship grid for the 2021-’22 season, in the hopes of improving on his 10th-place finish last season
Last season saw the 26-year-old cross the finish line first in one of the three races at Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park before losing the win due to a start line infringement.
“That Taupo race was still a fantastic race even after the end result,” Allen said.
“We showed we have the pace to win against the best drivers in the series and it was still a fantastic and fair race against Brock who took the win.
“I’ve had disappointments before. A few years ago we ran a V8 in the Manfeild winter series and were in good shape to take the title before a crucial business trip intervened. You take the knocks and you just aim to come back stronger and wiser.”
Through the off-season, Allen has spent time in a racing simulator, as well as competing in the Feilding Auto Electrical Winter Series at Manfeild and training to keep his fitness levels up and get ready for the new season.
“With status quo with myself and International Motorsport with Grant Lyons engineering me I’m hoping to be fighting for top three results and consistent points scoring right from the first round as that is going to be crucial for anyone making a championship challenge,” Allen said.
“As an experienced driver and knowing some of the tracks there will hopefully be some advantage in the early rounds as our new competitors get used to these Toyota 86 cars but as the season goes on the field will certainly close up.
“I’m not too worried about that at all. We know we had some good speed at the end of last season and hopefully can bring that forward to the first round where having the experience with the car will hopefully give us some momentum to start the season.
“I am also really looking forward to heading back down to Ruapuna, I haven’t raced there in four years but I remember having some success in the Mazda national series there so hopefully I’ll be quick to remember the track’s quirks to be on the pace early in the weekend.”
The upcoming championship will be Allen’s third season in the series and will see him fighting for a share of the $175,000 prize pool, which includes a test for Triple Eight Race Engineering.