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Garth and Leanne Tander headline Toyota 86 opener

Friday 29th March, 2019 - 11:11am

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Garth Tander will race in the Toyota 86 Racing Series at Phillip Island pic: Ross Gibb

Garth Tander is set to join the Toyota 86 Racing Series as an invited driver when the series gets underway at Phillip Island next month.

It will mark three-time Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000, and 2007 Supercars Championship winner’s debut in the series and only the second racing start since losing his drive with Garry Rogers Motorsport at the beginning of the year.

Joining Tander on the grid will be wife, Leanne, the 2016 Australian Formula Ford champ another invited driver for the Phillip Island event.

“It will be something different in the Toyota 86,” Garth told Speedcafe.com.

“It is an opportunity for myself and Leanne to be racing against each other in the same race. We did it in 2009 in the enduros but that wasn’t really a fair fight I don’t think.

“It is probably the first real opportunity we have had to race against each other in equal equipment so that is the main reason for doing it and I’m looking forward to it.

“She has done a lot more miles in these things, I haven’t sat in one yet, so I will trying to learn off her as much as I can.”

The series will run to a five round schedule for what will be its fourth year of competition.

Following Phillip Island is a nearly three month break before heading to Townsville for the second round.

A similar break then follows prior to round three at Bathurst in October before Sandown and Newcastle follow in quick succession to round out the campaign in November.

More than 30 drivers have signed up to the series, which again offers $150,000 in prize money, with $50,000 to the series winner, $30,000 to second and $15,000 to third.

The series will also award the Kaizen Award, worth $35,000 and a comes with a drive in an overseas Toyota 86 series, to the ‘most improved’ driver.

Last year’s competition was won by Tim Brook, while the series has proved a stepping stone for former competitors such Will Brown and Cameron Hill who now compete in Super2 and Porsche Carrera Cup respectively.

Toyota 86 Racing Series 2019 calendar

Rnd Track Date
1 Phillip Island Apr 12-14
2 Townsville Jul 5-7
3 Bathurst Oct 10-13
4 Sandown Nov 8-10
5 Newcastle Nov 22-24

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