Toyota is set to continue to excite and thrill motorsport fans and drivers, by committing to support the TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Australia 86 Series for another four years, through to the end of 2026.
The current Toyota 86 will remain as the platform for the race car for the next two years. Development has begun on an all new racecar, based on the all new GR86, that is arriving in the second half of this year. This new race platform and package will be used by teams for the TGRA 86 Series from 2024 onwards.
As a support category, at select rounds of the Supercars Championship, the TGRA 86 Series has been hugely popular among fans and drivers alike. To cater to the consistently oversubscribed grids, from the start of the 2023 season, Toyota will introduce a new scholarship series. This new series will offer younger drivers the opportunity to race the current 86 at a number of state-level events.
Toyota Australia Chief Marketing Officer Vin Naidoo said Toyota first launched the TGRA 86 Series in 2016 as a one-make series to offer an affordable, safe, and exciting learning environment where aspiring professional race drivers could hone their race-craft and learn from mentors with years of experience on the track.
"As we have seen over the past six years, the TGRA 86 Series has proven immensely popular with aspiring race drivers and those with a passion for motorsport and we have seen many of our alumni go on to drive at the highest levels, such as Broc Feeney and Will Brown, who are both driving for Supercars teams this year," Mr Naidoo said.
"At the same time, we have grown a legion of fans that delight at the close wheel to wheel action that plays out on some of Australia's most iconic race circuits.
"With the all new, more powerful and more agile GR86 set to make its racing debut in the 2024 series, we expect the excitement to be further dialled up, giving drivers and motorsport fans plenty of thrilling racing action for years to come," he said.
The 2022 TGRA 86 Series has already kicked off with the first round held at Sydney Motorsport Park in March and the next round is set to take on the iconic Mount Panorama circuit as support races for the Bathurst 12-Hour race on May 13-15.
Following that, TGRA 86 Series races head to Townsville (QLD), Sandown in Melbourne and then back to Bathurst for the final round of the 2022 season.
The new scholarship series set to start in 2023 will cater for younger or less experienced race drivers keen to get into motorsport, and will comprise of one-make Toyota 86 races at up to five state-level racing events run by Motorsport Australia in south-east Queensland, NSW and Victoria.
At the end of the year, a panel will select a number of high potential drivers, and run them through a series of evaluations in a one-day event, with the winner gaining a drive in the invited drivers GR86 race car, in a round of the main series the following year.