Toyota Australia keen on 86 racing series ‘World Final’

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Toyota Australia keen on 86 racing series ‘World Final’
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Mar 21, 2017, 6:21 AM

Toyota Australia is hoping that the success of its domestic 86 Racing Series could result in the creation of a ‘World Final’ for the one-make series.

Track action
Track action
Toyota 86 rear detail
Track action
Bruno Barbaro, 'Brody', Olivier Muytjens, Toyota GT86
Toyota GT86 sit in the pitlane

The Toyota 86 Racing Series kicked off in Australia last year, the one-make series attracting capacity grids across its five rounds. A total of 46 drivers scored points, with Australian Formula Ford runner-up and Formula 4 title winner Will Brown also winning the inaugural 86 series before stepping up to the second-tier Super2 Supercars series for 2017.

The success of the inaugural season now has Toyota Australia eyeing a more global approach to the 86 Racing Series concept. With a near-identical series already running in New Zealand, and similar series in Europe (the GT86 Cup in Germany), and the UAE (the TRD 86 Cup in Abu Dhabi), the idea of a ‘World Final’ – which has been used by the likes of Carrera Cup and Formula BMW in the past – is on the radar.

“There’s discussions, definitely, to bring something like that to life,” said Toyota Australia’s Executive Director Sales and Marketing Tony Cramb.

“I think there are only three series running at the moment, but we’re having ongoing discussions. We’d love to do it.”

In the meantime, Cramb confirmed that a working relationship with the New Zealand series will continue.

“Will [Brown] went over to [New Zealand] and raced last year, and we had drivers from the New Zealand series with us last year as well,” he said. “We’ll continue to keep working with New Zealand.”

With the first year of the three-year contract to run the series now up, and the second set to start next month, Cramb said the capacity grids from Season 1 were a good sign that the 86 Racing Series could have a longer-term future than the initial agreement.

“It’s not a three-year vision for us, but it’s a three-year contract,” he said.

“It’s fair to say that Season 1 exceeded our expectations, we didn’t expect it to be as good as it was. Having said that, all kinds of mistakes were made and [there are] things we need to improve – we’re in the process of doing that.

“If Season 2 is able to exceed, or even meet, our expectations, then it’s looking good for the future.”

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Series Touring
Author Andrew van Leeuwen
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