Prujean ready to test his skills against the best
Tauranga's Todd Prujean says taking part in the Best Bars Toyota 86 Championship will put his skill set to the ultimate test - and it's a challenge he's relishing.
Twenty-three-year-old Prujean has been racing on the domestic scene since he was 12 and has more than 150 races under his belt. He started competing in a 1600cc class Toyota Starlet in the SS2000 category and has raced in the Ssangyong Racing Series where he finished as runner up in the highly contested championship twice in a row. He's also the reigning NZ6 champion.
An apprentice builder, Todd is a self-confessed car nut but also spends time messing around with anything fast and that includes jet skis and motocross bikes.
And if it doesn't involve engines, he's still up for some high speed action on his wakeboard or on the ski slopes.
Stepping up to the Best Bars Toyota 86 Championship will see him in his highest profile championship to date.
He'll be competing against some of the best up and coming racing drivers in New Zealand as well as several very experienced and established racers. It's that, he says, which persuaded him to take the step into the TR86 series.
"For sure it's one of the best series in NZ and the best one make series," he says.
"That's one thing but it also has a hugely talented line-up of drivers and that's got to be the best place to test my skills. I am excited to put myself to the test with some of NZ's best and am really looking forward to the season."
Todd has a good number of backers from his home town and beyond who are helping him with his 2021-2022 campaign. His car will carry the colours of Tauranga Cars, CGP Panel Works, Wall To Wall, Greenslades Furniture, Hamilton Asphalts, Bowentown Motorcamp and endurance team DFM Racing.
"I should also thank my step mum and dad and there's a number of individuals who have also got behind my next season as well as those who have supported me in the past. It's fantastic to have their support moving forward into the Toyota."
Todd is still hoping to get some testing in ahead of the first round of the championship in November, but like many has been hampered by the lockdown restrictions.
The six round championship blasts off at Hampton Downs November 12-14 before heading up the motorway to Pukekohe three weeks later over the weekend of December 3-5.
The series pauses for its Christmas break before heading south to Cromwell for the Highlands weekend on January 14-16 and then move to Christchurch for the Ruapuna weekend on January 21-23.
Three weekends later it’s back to Hampton Downs on February 11-13 for the New Zealand Grand Prix meeting before the season finale at the Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park, Taupo on March 25-27.
Next year's championship also boasts the biggest ever prize pool for a domestic motorsport championship with a $175,000 value.
The pool includes cash prizes for races and championship finishing positions right up to the opportunity to race a Toyota 86 at Bathurst and for the winner a V8 Supercar test with legendary team Triple Eight Race Engineering courtesy of the Tony Quinn Foundation.
Best Bars Toyota 86 Championship 2021 – 2022
Round 1 – Hampton Downs Motorsport Park – November 12-14
Round 2 – Pukekohe Park Raceway – December 3-5
Round 3 – Highlands Motorsport Park – January 14-16
Round 4 – Mike Pero Motorsport Park, Ruapuna – January 21- 23
Round 5 – Hampton Downs Motorsport Park – February 11-13
Round 6 – Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park, Taupo – March 25-27