Drivers in the upcoming season of the Best Bars Toyota 86 Championship will get a much-needed testing opportunity before the season begins.
Speed Works has confirmed that the round scheduled for December 3-5 at Pukekohe Park Raceway won’t go ahead as planned due to the ongoing Covid-19 restrictions and uncertainty; instead, several non-championship classes will run in an extra round at Hampton Downs December 17-19.
As a result of the calendar change Toyota Gazoo Racing New Zealand is taking the opportunity to use the added weekend to give drivers the opportunity to complete some testing ahead of the season start.
“It’s close to the Christmas holidays but we felt we had to get something organised for the drivers and ensure all of them have plenty of opportunity to get some running and testing ahead of the season, which of course they have been struggling with over the last couple of months,” category manager Geoff Short said.
The testing weekend will include a variety of session formats including timed sessions, simulated qualifying, and practice starts as well as general practice.
“Safety for competitors and getting their cars ready for the championship is our top priority,” added Short.
“After discussions it became obvious that although they all want to race as soon as they can, they can see the benefits of delaying and making sure we are 100% ready to go for the South Island.
“We are confident we’ll be racing in January and happy that our drivers and teams will have had some significant additional time to be prepared and ready.”
The change means the championship will start now at Highlands Motorsport Park January 14-16.
The Toyota 86 will still be a six-round championship despite the calendar changes.
Main image: Tayler Burke