Christchurch teen Jaden Ransley is the latest New Zealand driver to challenge the Australian motor racing scene.
Ransley, 16, has secured a one-off drive in the Australian Toyota 86 Racing Series at Phillip Island on the weekend of April 21. He will drive a car prepared by Dylan Thomas Motorsport in the colours of CGR Performance.
“While it was always our intention to compete in Australia this year, the events of the New Zealand season meant we had to have a rethink. Thanks to some fantastic support we have managed to arrange a drive at round one in Aussie,” he said.
The biggest challenge has been finding a car to drive so close to the series start.
“Dad spent time looking at options. One particular car he made enquiries about buying was sold to CGR Performance a few days earlier. Dad made contact with Dylan and arranged this drive at Phillip Island,” he said.
Ransley finished fourth in the 2017-2018 Toyota 86 Championship, taking four pole positions, standing on the podium seven times and winning two races outright. He was on track for an even better series result until a crash at Invercargill in round four destroyed his car.
Coached by leading race engineer and mentor Andy Neale, Ransley has been one of the rising stars of the recent series.
“Andy Neale has been a fantastic mentor and has remained involved in the process along the way,” said Ransley.
At Hampton Downs last week for a post-season test day with the local championship’s next crop of race drivers, Ransley said he was impressed with the level of interest in the coming season and the calibre of the drivers who were testing.