The biggest prize purse in New Zealand's premiere 2016-2017 motorsport series - a total of $100,000 - has been announced for the Toyota TR 86 championship.
Confirming the prize fund at this weekend's CRC Speedshow, Toyota New Zealand Motorsport Manager Steve Boyce said the runaway success of the single make sports coupe championship was proof that it is fulfilling its role: to help young drivers hone their racing skills and achieve their motor racing goals.
"The championship has been a tremendous proving ground for Kiwi race drivers and is going from strength to strength. With very strong local and overseas interest in the coming championship we are proud to extend our support with this new prize structure," he said.
Toyota 86 Championship Category Manager Geoff Short says Toyota New Zealand has raised the stakes for aspiring race stars who are responding with enthusiasm as they plan their summer motor racing campaigns.
"The 2015-2016 championship really took off with a record entry and intense racing at each round. We are now building additional cars to meet demand which is coming from New Zealand and Australia, and we are expecting to easily fill the grid at every round this summer," he said.
Mr Short said the championship is New Zealand's leading single make series; its position recognised by confirmation of its place on the programme at V8 Supercars, which is the opening round of the TR 86 Championship.
He said there is now a strong market for the TR 86 race cars that are exclusively eligible for the series as drivers plan their season. Cars can be leased or owned outright. Six new cars are being built by Toyota Racing New Zealand at its Mt Wellington base.
"With the championship starting grid capped at 24 cars and a half dozen drivers already confirming their entries, people do need to be making their move now."
Total prize pool $100,000
Championship winner to receive an international drive similar to this season's Bathurst drive
Championship cash distribution down to 5th place
$5,000 cash per round prize money
Rookie class prize money allocated per round and for overall Championship
Masters prize money allocated per round and for overall Championship