Seasoned top-tier racers Dean Canto (pictured), Alex Davison and Cameron McConville will join the Toyota 86 Racing Series field for the next round, running at the Sydney Motorsport Park SuperSprint (Aug 26 to 28).
The Toyota 86 Racing Series (T86RS) is revved up and ready for round two after a thrilling debut at the Winton SuperSprint in May, with a huge field of 38 cars expected to line up for the Sydney Motorsport Park SuperSprint running from August 26 to 28.
A key support category at selected rounds of the 2016 Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, the series has already built an enthusiastic fan base thanks to ultra-close racing in the first round where hard-fought battles raged up and down the field. Toyota Australia has confirmed a fresh trio of invited drivers will be on the grid in Sydney to help mentor regular competitors and mix things up on the track.
Seasoned top-tier campaigners Dean Canto, Alex Davison and Cameron McConville have signed on, and although they won't be eligible for prizemoney, each is keen to make their mark. Over the last 15 years Dean Canto has managed to mix the development of his performance driving school with regular Supercars competition, missing out on the top step of the 2012 Bathurst 1000 podium by just three tenths of a second.
Dean's back for the Supercars Enduro Cup this year, pairing with reigning champion and 2013 Bathurst winner Mark Winterbottom for the Sandown 500, Bathurst 1000, and Gold Coast 600. Canto, who has already has a keen interest in the series, says he is looking forward to the event and helping coach drivers to race "clean and smart."
With national titles across multiple categories under his belt, not to mention open-wheel racing experience in the USA, Cameron McConville has been a regular competitor in V8 Utes and Supercars for two decades. His most recent role as the Confederation of Australian Motor Sport's (CAMS) general manager of motor sport development makes him the ideal mentor for emerging T86RS talent. "I haven't driven an 86 racing car yet, and although I expect the young guys to blow my doors off I still want to be competitive," Cameron said. "Overall though, I think I can add most value with what's going on in the paddock; helping drivers focus their racing campaign, and hopefully, career," he said.
While some people claim to have motor racing in their blood Alex Davison, grandson of four times Australian Grand Prix winner Lex and brother of Supercars stalwart Will, has pure high-octane flowing through his veins. A truly global competitor, Alex has been a front-runner in European sports car racing as well as a regular in the American Le Mans sports car series, leading to a seat in the 'real deal' 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2008. For the last decade, Alex has mixed high-profile Supercars drives with national sports car competition and says he is champing at the bit to get into the thick of the T86RS action. "These cars are so closely matched; it will be interesting to see how things go," Alex said. "Good race-craft will be the key to success, and that's an area where I think I can offer some pointers to the regulars," he said.
The T86RS schedule for the Sydney Motorsport Park SuperSprint weekend will feature two practice periods, a single qualifying session and three races.
The Toyota 86 Racing Series
The Toyota 86 Racing Series is designed to provide an entry point and training ground for up-and-coming drivers, offering a confirmed prize pool of $125,000. Open to all manual variants of Toyota's cult-classic sports car*, the series is part of the support program at selected rounds of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship. In 2016 the Toyota 86 Racing Series runs over five events: May 20-22 (Winton SuperSprint), August 26-28 (Sydney Motorsport Park SuperSprint), September 16-18 (Sandown 500), October 6-9 (Bathurst 1000) and December 2-4 (Sydney 500).
For regular updates and more information go to toyota.com.au/86/racing-series.