The Toyota 86 has been out for 4 years now (where does the time go), and when launched it was sold as a blank canvas for individual owners to modify the cars to their own tastes. Up until this year I’d only sat in and driven an 86 once for a total of 2mins at an end of an event of a skidpan motorkhana, where the owner graciously let me take his red 86 TRD Edition for a spin.
Which takes me to this year when Matt & myself got to take a road going 86 and a newly built 86 Race Series car for a blast around Sydney Motorsport Park. After that encounter with the 86 it did make me sit up and realise what Toyota had truly created with the 86. So I jumped at the chance to take the 3hr drive down to Canberra to check out this the 3rd edition of the #FESTIVALOF86, for not only would there be a chance to check out what the going trends were in the modification side, be it cosmetic or performance based but also to check out the motorsport side with the launch of the Toyota 86 Race Series and a special surprise that Toyota had installed for the crowd.
Canberra really brought it’s A-game weather with a perfect day for the festival, as well did Toyota with the event being held at the Sutton Road Driver Training Centre meant that not only was there enough room for a massive Show and Shine & Aftermarket Vendors. The wet skidpan was showcasing the road going models, and lucky competition winners were being treated to some exhilarating laps in the 86 Race Series cars. Even a few simulators were setup, with a Top Gear style scoreboard was in place to find the fastest on the day.
Tetsuya Tada, Toyota’s Chief engineer, was again at the festival as an honorary guest and the day before the festival helped launch the Toyota 86 Shooting Brake Concept. For parts of the day Tada-San was a very popular man with a massive line during his meet and greet sessions, most had brought their glove box covers to be signed as well as other memorabilia. You could tell that he was thoroughly enjoying himself being around other 86 enthusiasts.
Toyota chose the Festival to make the public debut of the 86 Shooting Brake Concept. The concept was born in Australia with the local design team dreaming it up, and after showing Tada-San the design and scaled models, he then chose a team in Japan to help make the concept a reality. The car was always surrounded with people who were intrigued by the concept.
The Show and Shine attracted a wide range of 86’s with a few BRZ’s thrown in. It was great to see the styles & mods that the owners had done to their cars, a lot even had some great number plates too.
The Skidpan and Track was running hot all day with attendees jumping in for some hotlaps with some of Toyota’s best drivers, and going by the smiles I’m sure they had a blast!
With the 86 Race Series kicking off the next weekend in Winton, some of the Professional drivers that were competing in the series were on hand for the on track hotlaps, with Steven Johnson, Glenn Seton, Leanne Tander and the ever sideways Neil Bates.
The display of current and past Toyota Motorsport competition was top notch, you could just look at the cars for hours and still be amazed by the engineering.
The annual Festival of 86 photo was held on the track, with every car doing a cruise lap before stopping on the straight to be positioned.
Tada-San looking on at the endless view of 86’s that stretched for a couple hundred metres down the straight, I’m sure he was very proud at the amount of cars.
The 2016 edition of the Festival drew to a close, it was a great success with so many cars on display it was hard to see where to look next. Massive props to Toyota for putting on the Festival and I know everyone had an amazing time.
Till the next Festival of 86, See you there!