Toyota Gazoo Racing Australia 86 Series Grids up for 100th Race
August 17, 2023
Toyota will celebrate the 100th race in the TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Australia (TGRA) 86 Series this weekend (20 August) when 32 racecars lineup on the grid at The Bend Motorsport Park for the first time since 2018, as part of the OTR SuperSprint Supercars event.
Since starting in 2016, the series has become widely acknowledged as the premier grassroots circuit racing category in Australia and recognised as a development pathway for aspiring professional race drivers.
Toyota Australia Chief Marketing Officer Vin Naidoo said this was a fantastic milestone and a testament to the passion and enthusiasm of the drivers and fans of the TGRA 86 Series.
“When we started the TGRA 86 Series back in 2016, our idea was to simply to provide an affordable grassroots racing category for passionate enthusiasts and give them an opportunity to compete and learn in a safe well-run series,” Mr Naidoo said.
“Since then it has gone from strength to strength and is now highly regarded among Australia’s motorsport fraternity as an outstanding development series for aspiring professionals as well as those who just love racing for the fun of it.
“Its success can be seen in the number of young drivers that have gone onto other racing categories, including the premier Supercars Championship, and last year we committed to supporting it until at least the end of 2026.
“Such was the demand that this year we added a second tier Scholarship Series and unveiled the new GR86 racecar that will debut in the 2024 season and are looking forward to many more years of exciting wheel-to-wheel action on some of Australia’s most iconic circuits for years to come,” he said.
As evidence of the success of the series, this year, no fewer than four 86 alumni are driving for top tier Supercars teams including the inaugural season winner Will Brown and third placed Cameron Hill, along with Broc Feeney and Declan Fraser.
A further seven former 86 racers are also racing in the Super2 series this year demonstrating its commanding place in Australian motorsport as both an affordable category for aspiring professionals to learn and hone their racecraft and for the passionate weekend warriors who just want to race for the thrill of it.
Since the first race at Winton in Victoria on May 21, 2016, each season has comprised five or six rounds of three races each as a support category at select Supercars events, only interrupted by the sporadic events through COVID lockdowns and border restrictions in 2020-21.
Along with its success as a development series, it has produced plenty of tight exciting racing action for fans across the country including on the streets circuits of Townsville and Newcastle, Phillip Island, The Bend, Winton, Sandown, Sydney Motorsport Park and the iconic Mount Panorama circuit at Bathurst.
Following this weekend’s round at the Bend, the TGRA 86 Series heads for Sandown on 15 – 17 September before wrapping up the season at Bathurst on 5-8 October.
|TGRA 86 Series Season Winners|
|2016||Will Brown||Dave Sieders||Cameron Hill|
|2017||Jimmy Vernon||Cameron Hill||Dylan Thomas|
|2018||Tim Brook||Luke King||Cameron Crick|
|2019||Aaron Borg||Luke King||Tim Brook|
|2020-21||No championship due to COVID restrictions|
|2022||Lachlan Gibbons||Zach Bates||Jobe Stewart|