RACING drivers with their sights set on moving to national level motorsport can be on the grid for this year’s Toyota 86 Racing Series for less than $70,000.
Open to all ADR-approved manual variants of Australia’s best-selling sports car, the Toyota 86 Racing Series is a grassroots initiative aimed at helping develop emerging driver talent with a budget-conscious technical spec and straightforward category format.
Toyota ambassador and four times Australian Rally Champion Neal Bates has worked with a range of specialists to develop a high-performance, low-cost mandatory race package that is designed to be affordable, fast and durable.
The kit, approved by the Confederation of Australian Motorsport (CAMS), is available to competitors through Neal Bates Motorsport (NBM).
It includes an adjustable front and rear coil-over damping system built and tuned by Queensland-based MCA, owned and run by motorsport legend and suspension guru Murray Coote.
Brakes are upgraded with larger rotors (330mm front / 316mm rear) and AP Racing callipers (four-piston front / two-piston rear), while the wheels step up to 18-inch OZ ‘Asfalto’ alloy rims.
The exhaust system is custom made from manifold to tailpipe, a Toyota Racing Development (TRD) engine oil cooler has been added, and a specific locked Motec M150 Electronic Control Unit (ECU) is able to be swapped from car to car, ensuring parity on engine management.
A modified throttle stop, specific rear spoiler and baffled sump pan complete the list of required NBM elements for a total price under $25,000#.
“In fine-tuning the 86 race package we’ve aimed for a balance between performance, tune-ability and budget,” Bates said. “Drivers of all ages will benefit from the driveability we’ve added through the exhaust and ECU tune, at the same time developing their set-up skills with the adjustable coil-overs.”
In addition to the mandatory kit, competition cars must be fitted with a Toyota 86 Racing Series-compliant roll-cage and CAMS-compliant race seat and multi-point harness, which competitors are free to source independently; with an all-up representative cost of $12-15,000.
Running as part of the support program at selected 2016 V8 Supercars events, the Toyota 86 Racing Series kicks off in May (Winton SuperSprint), with subsequent rounds confirmed for August (Sydney Motorsport Park SuperSprint), September (Sandown 500), October (Bathurst 1000) and November (Sydney 500).
The entry fee of $1,500 per round (including Bathurst), is the lowest for any mainstream national series, and a prize pool of $125,000 will give up-and-coming competitors a solid career boost.