Toyota 86 championship protagonists Peter Vodanovich and Jaylyn Robotham are gearing up for the highly anticipated return to racing as the series nears its season-finale from Hampton Downs in September.
The event marks the first time since the New Zealand Grand Prix weekend from Manfeild back in March the duo will challenge each other on the circuit.
For Australian youngster Robotham, new travel restrictions mean he is compelled to wait out 14-days of self-isolation upon entering New Zealand before being able to even visit the circuit.
Despite this, the 17-year-old has expressed his excitement to return for the final round and put up a grandstand finish as the fight for the title reaches its climax.
“I am super keen to get over and compete in the final round of the championship,” said Robotham.
“It’s really close at the moment for the top three and I’m one of those so I’m keen to get over there. I will have to quarantine for a couple of weeks which of course will be a challenge.
“This year, however, has been tough on everyone so I’m glad I am still able to have the chance to come over and race.”
Series leader Vodanovich maintains a slender two-point advantage at the head of the field, the kiwi having shared five wins apiece with his title rival and has only finished off the rostrum once.
The 19-year-old cut his first post-lockdown laps earlier in the week at a test session from Hampton Downs and admits he is thrilled to have the opportunity to see out the full five-round campaign and hopefully be crowned a deserving champion.
“I am so thrilled to finally have a date for the final round,” said Vodanovich.
“The preparation had not stopped when we found out it was postponed and we will continue to put in the work leading up to September. I love the circuit and I am feeling confident in myself and the team to deliver on track and hopefully cement our championship lead.”
There to spoil the party however is Christchurch-based racer Jaden Ransley who lies third, 78-points adrift of Vodanovich. The avid sim-racer has been eyeing up a TCR Australia drive but will no doubt be excited to return to action come September.
The round is slated to be contested around the Hampton Downs national circuit on September 4-6, with practice on Friday followed by qualifying and three races over the weekend.
10 classes are set to feature on the event programme and the round will also see the final of the Ryco NZ V8 Ute championship.
Main Image: Bruce Jenkins