Toyota Australia invited the club to their internal drive day, which was to promote their Sales and Marketing team moving to the Melbourne HQ in Port Melbourne. The event was very hush hush and a lot of mystery over what the day would entail. They offered the club 20 spots and due to demand gave us a further 5 spots. In total with passengers we were able to get about 30 people in for the day at Sandown Raceway.
We arrived to a half empty car park and squeezed as many of our cars in as possible. I was a bit worried at first about the day due to the setup as it didn’t feel we were really able to display our cars as best we could but in the distance we could see a 2017 Toyota 86 doing some circle work on a wet skid pan which perked our interest.
We were ushered up into a function room which to our surprise overlooked the main straight at Sandown and was full of suits and a range of food and drinks and I began to think what have we gotten ourselves into.
Six T86RS cars began a “qualifying” session to setup a race at lunchtime which we watched from the stand. The cars are loud and reasonably fast for what they are.
The day was well organised in the end and a total surprise. There was an MC who advised us of proceedings and told us where to be. We were ushered down to the trackside were a VIP was to appear. A few moments later an LFA made its way around the track and upon pulling up after a few revs of the engine out stepped none other than Akio Toyoda the president of Toyota Japan. Needless to say we had our jaws on the ground as not only was there a beautiful LFA we got to meet Toyoda San himself. We were told to get on the track and check out the LFA and get photos with Toyoda San. We were then ushered over to the pits where he was waiting in the LFA on the autocross track they had setup. He planted it and did a couple laps of the track along with a decent bit of circle work on the wet skidpan. Needless to say the man can drive and definitely loves what he does. There were a handful of passenger rides with him In a T86 which resulted in huge smiles from all involved.
A Q and A session was next with Toyoda San. He provided great insight into his vision and the future of Toyota. Lunch was then served back in the function room which was delicious and unexpected.
Following lunch most of the suits made their way off. The club was asked to stick around for passenger laps in 3 of the T86RS cars alongside the drivers from the series, Bates, Tander and Crompton to name a few. We were given a bag full of merchandise from the T86RS which was awesome and a fuel voucher.
All in all was a great day. Truly honoured to meet Akio Toyoda and was awesome to see the smiles on the faces of the members who made it for the day. Thanks guys for supporting the club and a huge thanks to Toyota Australia for the invitation.
LuxRacing Open Day
The club got invited to have an open day at Lux Racing.
Here you can see the marvellous 'SloMango' being worked on.
The guys down @ Lux Racin wern't shy to show us the ins'outs of the 86 and what they can do to improve our cars.