If competing in an official championship based on the popular Toyota 86 wasn’t compelling enough, the carmaker has today announced that it will offer a $125,000 prize pool for Australia’s Toyota 86 Racing Series when it kicks off in 2016.
The carmaker has confirmed a $50,000 cash prize for the series winner, combined with a $20,000 international VIP experience - the details of which are still to be revealed.
Second place in the one-make 2016 series will pocket $30,000 and third place will take $15,000.
The series organisers will also nominate a ‘rising star’ driver that finishes outside the top three, winning flights, accommodation and entry to a round of New Zealand’s Toyota Finance 86 championship.
As an amateur championship, competitors in Australia’s Toyota 86 Racing Series will undoubtedly be looking to a win not only as a means of furthering their career aspirations, but also to offset the already relatively affordable entry fee.
"An entry fee of just $1500 per round is easily the lowest amount for any mainstream national series, which reflects our desire to ensure the Toyota 86 Racing Series is affordable for anyone with the passion and talent to compete,” Toyota Australia marketing director Tony Cramb said today.
"If there's another Skaife or Longhurst out there, we'll find them!"
Initially announced as the 86 Pro-Am (professional and amateur) series in February, the newly named Toyota 86 Racing Series was developed by Toyota, along with long-time partners Neal Bates Motorsport and Neil Crompton’s AirTime Autosport.
The series will be campaigned at V8 Supercars events through 2016, kicking off in May. Other rounds will follow in August (Sydney Motorsport Park), September (Sandown), October (Bathurst) and November (Sydney Olympic Park).
A maximum of 32 cars will compete in any one race, with almost all driven by amateurs under the ongoing tutelage of professional racers.
Five cars on the grid will be driven by professionals or by other guests invited by Toyota, although those five will not be eligible for series points or prizes.
Competition rounds will be made up of mostly of three 20-minute races, including one on the Saturday and two on the Sunday. Two practice sessions and a qualifying session will determine the makeup of the starting grid.
Will you be throwing your hat into the ring for the Toyota 86 Racing Series? Tell us in the comments below (and keep us up to date on your progress).