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24th June 2015

Neil Crompton and Neal Bates discuss details for the Toyota 86 Racing Series. .

Click to enlarge

CROMPTON JOINS BATES FOR TOYOTA 86 RACING SERIES

The hotly anticipated Toyota 86 Racing Series has moved a step closer to its 2016 track debut with the appointment of a management company led by prominent motorsport identity Neil Crompton.

Crompton's AirTime Autosport will be the main contact for budding competitors and others keen to be involved in the affordable grassroots series which will feature races at selected rounds of the V8 Supercars.

Toyota Australia's executive director sales and marketing Tony Cramb said the company's latest foray into motorsport now involves two great Toyota ambassadors - Neil Crompton and four-times Australian rally champion Neal Bates.

"Neil Crompton brings an extensive motorsport background to the administration of the Toyota 86 Racing Series while Neal Bates has developed a brilliant race car that will ensure close competition between professional and amateur drivers," Mr Cramb said.

"We have already had more than 300 expressions of interest from Toyota 86 owners and others who believe they have what it takes to compete in this grassroots motorsport initiative," he said.

"Over the coming months we will have further announcements about the Toyota 86 Racing Series, including the names of professional drivers who will compete against, as well as mentor, the amateur drivers."

Mr Cramb said the appointment of the category manager coincided with the formal branding of the pro-am competitive events as the Toyota 86 Racing Series.

He also announced the series' eligibility will be broadened to include the high-grade 86 GTS manual as well as the GT manual variant, expanding the opportunities for owners to compete.

Key specifications will be controlled to ensure their suitability and reliability while keeping costs as low as possible. These include suspension, brakes, extractors and exhaust, ECU, oil cooler, rims and tyres as well as mandatory safety gear.

Crompton, who has raced everything from production cars to V8 Supercars to an Indy Car and is now a high-profile TV commentator, said the Toyota 86 Racing Series will have fantastic grassroots appeal.

"It's a great personal thrill to be part of a series that brings together Toyota's impressive motorsport heritage, an iconic sports car, Australia's biggest motorsport category and national television coverage," he said.

"The return of Toyota to the mainstream paddock is an amazing opportunity for new talent and existing competitors to make a name for themselves in a series that will greatly benefit Australian motorsport.

"Neal Bates and his team have done a brilliant job producing race cars with a low-cost performance kit that ensures a level playing field where the emphasis will be on driver skill."

The Toyota 86 has become a cult hero since being launched in mid-2012 with Australians having bought more than 14,000 cars. Only Japan and the United States have bought more cars.

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