TOYOTA GAZOO Racing New Zealand has confirmed the calendar for the 2023-2024 Toyota 86 Championship and the 11th season for the iconic sportscar is already shaping up to be another thriller.
Confirmation of the calendar comes ahead of the big Hampton Downs Academy Shootout this week when four drivers – Hunter Robb, Cormac Murph, Mitchell Sparrow and Jackson Rooney – will test and give feedback to a panel of judges, including new Jaguar Formula E driver Nick Cassidy. Each will be hoping to secure the spot to represent the Academy in this year’s Toyota 86 season.
The championship will begin at the Taupo International Motorsport Park over the weekend of November 17-19 when New Zealand’s SuperSprint Championship season gets underway.
Teams and drivers get an early summer break and lots of time off over the Christmas and school holidays before racing resumes with three rounds supporting the 2024 Castrol Toyota Formula Regional Oceania Championship.
First up over the weekend of January 26-28 is the seasonal visit to Manfeild – Circuit Chris Amon.
The field then heads to the South Island on February 9-11 for round three at the newly renamed Euromarque Motorsport Park in Christchurch (formerly Ruapuna), before heading the supporting cast the following weekend for the first New Zealand Grand Prix to be held at Highlands Motorsport Park.
Round five will be fought out at TGRNZ’s home circuit, Hampton Downs Motorsport Park on March 15-17 with the venue for the sixth and final round of the 2024 championship trail still to be confirmed.
A historic 2023 season – the tenth – saw Brock Gilchrist’s persistence pay off with a nail-biting championship win. His fantastic season was rewarded with a Gen 3 Supercar test and a trip with top rookie Rylan Gray to the Nürburgring in a GR Supra GT4 EVO for the 3rd round of the ADAC GT4 Germany.
Season 11 is shaping up to have another big competitive field, with multiple entries already confirmed and the high-quality Hampton Downs Academy Shootout later this week confirming huge early interest in the country’s premier one-make tin-top championship.
2023/24 Toyota 86 Schedule
|Rd 1||November 17-19||Taupo|
|Rd 3||February 9-11||Ruapuna|
|Rd 4||February 16-18||Highlands|
|Rd 5||March 15-17||Hampton Downs|
Header Image: The 2023-24 Toyota 86 Championship is revving up for a mid-November start. Picture Bruce Jenkins.
Words and Images supplied.