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Leach Hoping Winter Testing Pays Big Dividends

A busy winter testing programme should push Tim Leach up the grid in his second season of the Toyota 86 Championship.

Tim Leach returns for a second season

Leach finished in 17th place overall in his debut season in the Toyota 86 Championship, improving steadily as the season progressed and as he learned the set-up processes of the car and the circuits themselves. Now he says he’s ready for a step forward.

“The biggest thing I learned from last season is that consistency is key,” said the Winger-backed racer. “Whether it’s qualifying or in a race I’ve learnt that I have to be consistent in order to get the best lap time or to catch the car ahead.

“I’ve been preparing for the upcoming season by testing at various tracks with the Winger Motorsport team. As we are all reasonably new to the series, we have made extra efforts to understand the car better and find different setups that work for different tracks.

“I think this will help us moving forward to the upcoming season. Personally, I have also been looking back at qualifying and race videos from last season to see where I can improve at each track. So the countdown to this second season looks quite different from last year and we are geared up for making a step up the field this year.

“It’s a huge field too so it’s going to be a lot of fun. Another objective I’ve got is to improve my motorsport brand through social media and interviews. Ultimately finishing in the top half of the grid is something I will be striving for.

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“It’s great to be in such a competitive championship. There aren’t too many other series in New Zealand that have this intensity of racing.

Tim and the 24 other racers begin the biggest ever Toyota 86 Championship later this month at the Taupo International Motorsport Park before an early summer holiday ahead of the second round at Manfeild - Circuit Chris Amon in January.

The championship then heads to the South Island for two rounds there, including the 68th New Zealand Grand Prix meeting, which is being held at the Highlands Motorsport Park for the first time. The final two rounds will be in the North Island.

2023-2024 Toyota 86 Championship

Round 1 – November 17-19 – Taupo International Motorsport Park

Round 2 – January 26-28 – Manfeild - Circuit Chris Amon

Round 3 – February 9-11 – Euromarque Motorsport Park

Round 4 – February 16-18 – Highlands Motorsport Park – NZ Grand Prix

Round 5 – March 15-17 – Hampton Downs Motorsport Park

Round 6 – TBC

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