NZ Toyota 86 champion to get Supercars test with Triple Eight

The winner of next year’s New Zealand Toyota 86 Championship will be awarded a Supercars test

The Tony Quinn Foundation has announced next year’s New Zealand Toyota 86 Championship winner will be awarded a Supercars test with Triple Eight Race Engineering.

The foundation was recently started in a bid to support Kiwi drivers establish themselves on the world stage.

Already the initiative has attracted support from high-profile individuals including Indianapolis 500-winning team owner Steve Horne and four-time Bathurst 1000 winner Greg Murphy.

“It’s going to be an awesome experience for the winner,” said Quinn, who is Triple Eight’s largest shareholder.

“They will see how a top team works from the engineering and technical side to the driving side of things and of course they will have a golden opportunity to catch the eye of those in the team and learn from the best.”

Red Bull Ampol Racing driver Shane van Gisbergen was a scholarship recipient in his formative years.

The Kiwi won New Zealand’s highly regarded Speedsport Scholarship which earned him a paid season in Formula First, the country’s equivalent of Formula Vee.

In recent years, van Gisbergen has been a proponent of driver development, supporting up-and-coming Kiwi drivers through driver training.

“It’s really cool to see TQ helping young Kiwi drivers with the Foundation,” said van Gisbergen.

“He’s given me a lot of support over the years and he’s an awesome person to have in your corner, so the drivers who get to be part of the Foundation are very lucky.

“I’m stoked that Triple Eight is offering a test day to the Toyota 86 winner.

“I’ll definitely be there on the day to help the driver learn the car and understand the data so that they can make the most of the opportunity. I think it’s an awesome initiative.”

Added Triple Eight managing director and team principal Roland Dane: “New Zealand has a disproportionately high number of world-class drivers and it’s excellent to see so many of them enjoying success around the world in a broad range of categories.

“Tony’s considerable support of motorsport and the foundations of young driver development in particular is admirable and we’re very happy to support his passion through Triple Eight.”

Van Gisbergen’s team-mate and future team principal Jamie Whincup also put his weight behind the concept.

“I’m a strong believer in Triple Eight giving back to the sport that’s given us so much over the years so it was a no-brainer to support the Tony Quinn Foundation,” said Whincup.

“The test day won’t just be a few laps in a Supercar and calling it a day.

“Triple Eight will be putting our resources behind it to make sure the driver gets the most out of it that they possibly can.

“That means a well-prepped car, a professional crew and engineers to help translate the data into lap time. The winner will be getting the full Triple Eight experience.”

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