Taranaki 18 year old Campbell Stewart is the latest young driver to sign up for the 2018-2019 Toyota 86 Championship and the speedway ace will add yet another dimension to a series already brimming with talent.
Three successful years in Ministocks from the age of 12 were followed by a step up to a 400 horsepower Midget at the age of 15 and the Stratford racer was successful in that series too, winning races at venues like Palmerston North and the iconic Western Springs. He was good enough to also be nominated as Speedway NZ’s Competitor of the Year.
The Toyota 86 chance came after a test at Hampton Downs earlier in the year convinced him that competing in the championship was a great career move and he and his supporters have been hard at work putting together the campaign ever since. A car was purchased and will be run by International Motorsport, who will run three cars in this year’s championship.
Speedway sponsor NZ PGS – a pump and generator supplier to the off-shore industry amongst others – are on board as title sponsor and there’s further support from Tasman Toyota, Motul, Aitkins Transport, Pioneer Pumps and Hydraulink.
“I am looking forward to developing my racecraft and driving skills via circuit racing and do intend to do a few Speedway races too,” explained Stewart, who has also recently completed school and started a three year apprenticeship as a diesel mechanic.
“The Toyota is hard not to like. It’s a great drive and the opportunities in the series are great for up and coming drivers, whether they are experienced or rookies. There’s a good level of talent in this series and that was particularly important in deciding to become part of it. Like most of the drivers in this series, I’m excited about what lies ahead and very grateful to everyone who has made it all possible. They are the backbone for me and I couldn’t do it without them.“
Stewart and a field of 20 Toyota 86 racers will begin their championship on November 2-4 at Pukekohe Park for a six round season that will include a round at Cromwell’s Highlands Motorsport Park for the first time since 2013.