New Zealand’s premier single-make circuit-racing series, the Best Bars Toyota 86 Championship, has confirmed a stunning grand prize for the winner of its next championship.
The winner will get an official test with Triple Eight Red Bull Ampol Racing in one of its ‘main game’ Supercars. The prize comes through Tony Quinn; part owner of Triple Eight Race Engineering and recent creator of the Tony Quinn Foundation.
“It’s going to be an awesome experience for the winner,” said Tony Quinn. “They will see how a top team works from the engineering and technical side to the driving side of things and of course they will have a golden opportunity to catch the eye of those in the team and learn from the best.”
“New Zealand has a disproportionately high number of world-class drivers and it’s excellent to see so many of them enjoying success around the world in a broad range of categories. Tony’s considerable support of motorsport and the foundations of young driver development in particular is admirable and we’re very happy to support his passion through Triple Eight,” added Triple Eight team principal Roland Dane.
The winner can look forward to being supported by the full brunt of the extended Triple Eight crew during the test. Drivers Jamie Whincup and Shane van Gisbergen have added their support for the programme; Whincup having already confirmed he will be stepping into the team’s CEO role next year, and van Gisbergen having established himself as one of the best teachers in the Supercars paddock.
“It’s really cool to see TQ helping young Kiwi drivers with the Foundation. He’s given me a lot of support over the years and he’s an awesome person to have in your corner, so the drivers who get to be part of the Foundation are very lucky,” said van Gisbergen.
“I’m stoked that Triple Eight is offering a test day to the Toyota 86 winner, I’ll definitely be there on the day to help the driver learn the car and understand the data so that they can make the most of the opportunity. I think it’s an awesome initiative.”
“I’m a strong believer in Triple Eight giving back to the sport that’s given us so much over the years so it was a no-brainer to support the Tony Quinn Foundation,” Whincup added.
“The test day won’t just be a few laps in a Supercar and calling it a day. Triple Eight will be putting our resources behind it to make sure the driver gets the most out of it that they possibly can. That means a well prepped car, a professional crew and engineers to help translate the data into lap time. The winner will be getting the full Triple Eight experience.”
The news continues the New Zealand Toyota 86 Championship’s streak of significant prizes for championship winners, with previous lures including a funded wildcard appearance at the Bathurst 1000 round of Australia’s Toyota 86 Championship.
“It’s hugely important to me that Triple Eight plays a role in the development of future talent so I’m really proud that we can support the Tony Quinn Foundation in this way. The wonderful thing about this opportunity is that it’s open to everyone,” said Triple Eight Co-owner Jessica Dane.
“I would love to see a talented female driver win the championship and this test day with Triple Eight. New Zealand produces an incredible amount of motorsport talent, so hopefully Triple Eight’s contribution can provide even a small fraction of assistance to helping another exceptional driver reach the world stage.”
“We have always been focused on providing opportunities to find our next world champion and believe that the Toyota 86 category is an essential pathway in New Zealand,” said Andrew Davis, Toyota New Zealand general manager of marketing. “It’s exciting times and great to have this support from the TQ Foundation.”