TONY Longhurst, one of the biggest names in Australian motor racing, has signed on to join the Toyota 86 Racing Series as the new one-make category heads to the Sandown Circuit in Melbourne.
The two-time Bathurst 1000 winner joins Steve Johnson and Leanne Tander as a guest driver; offering regular competitors the opportunity to capture a trio of high-profile scalps on the track, and benefit from their experience off it.
Toyota is inviting a range of selected racers to join the field throughout 2016, with the primary goal of sharing their experience across disciplines including everything from driving technique and sponsor support to media management and training tips.
No stranger to one-make racing, Longhurst knocked over some big names to take out a national single-make series in 1984, kick-starting a motor racing career that ultimately spanned more than three decades.
A regular front-runner in the Australian Touring Car Championship and the Supercars Championship that replaced it, Tony’s racing reputation is built on a fiercely competitive spirit, outright speed and canny race-craft.
With no less than 34 entries confirmed for the Sandown event, Tony is keen to mix it with the regular series competitors across three races scheduled for the weekend.
“I’m looking forward to getting to grips with the 86 and seeing what kind of headway I can make in such a huge field,” Tony said.
“It should be massive fun, and I hope I can pass on a few tips here and there along the way,” he added.
Veterans of the opening Toyota 86 Racing Series event at the Winton SuperSprint in May, Steve Johnson and Leanne Tander are pumped up and ready for more action.
Using knowledge gained over 20 years as a front-running Supercars driver, Steve Johnson continues to mix it with famous names like Jim Richards and John Bowe at the pointy end of the hugely popular Touring Car Masters series.
Leanne Tander brings more than a decade’s top-level open-wheel, production car and Supercars experience to the Toyota 86 Racing Series field, and currently holds a healthy lead in the country’s most hotly-contested open-wheel series.
Going in to the Sandown weekend, the series table sees Canberra teenager Cameron Hill (586 points) leading 21-year-old Queenslander William Brown (524 points), with Sydney-sider Tim Brook (516 points) in third.