Expanded Toyota 86 Series calendar in 2018

Jimmy Vernon pic: Matthew Paul Photography

Next season’s Toyota 86 Racing Series will feature a new event at The Bend Motorsport Park and a return to Sandown as part of an expanded 2018 calendar.

It makes for┬áthe longest season in the category’s three-year history, and the first time it’s ventured off the eastern seaboard.

“We’re delighted that the Toyota 86 Racing Series has produced young-gun winners in Will Brown and Jimmy Vernon,” said Sean Hanley, Toyota Australia’s senior divisional manager sales and marketing.

“Next year’s calendar provides even more challenges and variety with the country’s two fastest circuits at Phillip Island and Bathurst, as well as Sandown, a brand new venue at Tailem Bend and the two street circuits.”

Falling off the schedule is Sydney Motorsport Park, while the category forms part of the Supercars support program for the inaugural The Bend Supersprint in August.

“The circuit configuration for the 86s will be 4.95km with 18 challenging turns – a fast and flowing layout,” explained Sam Shahin, managing director of The Bend Motorsport Park.

“It will be a rewarding technical circuit, with terrific overtaking opportunities – whether at hairpin corners or the end of the 15 metre-wide main straight.”

The 2018 campaign will kick off at Phillip Island in April before a three-month break ahead of Round 2 at the Townsville 400.

Round 3 takes competitors to South Australia for the first time before returning to Sandown for the first time since 2016.

The season then wraps up with visits to Mount Panorama, as part of the Bathurst 1000 weekend, and the Newcastle 500.

2018 Toyota 86 Racing Series Calendar

Round 1. Phillip Island 400, Victoria, April 20-22
Round 2. Townsville 400, Queensland, July 6-8
Round 3. The Bend Supersprint, South Australia, August 24-26
Round 4. Sandown 500, Victoria, September 14-16
Round 5. Bathurst 1000, New South Wales, October 4-7
Round 6. Newcastle 500, New South Wales, November 23-25

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