Full grids, spectacular action as Toyota’s 86 Championship kicks off

Full grids, spectacular action as Toyota’s 86 Championship kicks offThe race to the 2016-2017 Toyota 86 Championship title is set to be closer than ever as the front runners battle for position and strive to fend off the record-strength grid of keen racers behind them.

Defending Toyota 86 Champion Ash Blewett won the first round at Pukekohe, taking two wins and one second place at the opening round – but unlike a year ago, the gap between him and his key rivals was much closer.

This year’s race to the title is set to be a closer contest, with the sharp end of the championship a pitched battle between Blewett and Reid Harker (Albany), Ryan Yardley (Christchurch), Australian driver Will Brown and Michael Scott (Te Puke).

Brown is the inaugural Aussie F4 champion and chased Leanne Tander 2016 Aussie Formula Ford national series. He’s also at the sharp end of Australia’s ‘pro-am’ Toyota 86 championship.

The action-packed opening round saw Harker take a win, Yardley score a fastest time and Blewett set his mark on the championship points battle.

Toyota 86 Championship has broken its 2015-2016 entry record, with 17 cars fronting for Pukekohe and more to come.

Buoyed by the announcement of the richest prize purse in modern motor racing, the championship is becoming a major presence in the local motorsport scene and like the Toyota Racing Series is now propelling its ‘graduates’ on and into new racing challenges and accomplishments.

Round two of the championship is at Taupo’s Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park December 9 and 10.

Points going into round two, Toyota 86 Championship
Ash Blewett, 217
Reid Harker,184
Ryan Yardley,179
Michael Scott,168
Will Brown,158
Jack Milligan (R) 144
Matt Lockwood 126
John Penny (M) 111
Ben MacDonald (R) 99
Brody McConkey (R) 92
Connor Adam (R) 84
Jaden Ransley (R) 82
Drew Ridge 78
Mike Lightfoot (M) 52
Miles Cockram 48
Tom Stokes 0
Jacob Smith 0

Driver Car number Points
Ash Blewett 1 217
Reid Harker 4 184
Ryan Yardley 18 179
Michael Scott 5 168
Will Brown 99 158
Jack Milligan (R) 17 144
Matt Lockwood 7 126
John Penny (M) 3 111
Ben MacDonald (R) 35 99
Brody McConkey (R) 23 92
Connor Adam (R) 9 84
Jaden Ransley (R) 53 82
Drew Ridge 14 78
Mike Lightfoot (M) 96 52
Miles Cockram (R) 11 48
Tom Stokes 6 0
Jacob Smith 27 0