Leading Northern Beaches racing team, CGR Performance will sport a distinctly local flavour for this weekend’s final round of the 2017 Toyota 86 Racing Series at the Coates Hire Newcastle 500, Novocastrian driver Will Cauchi driving the team’s second car alongside regular pilot Dylan Thomas.
Cauchi comes to the team with a wealth of production car experience, having raced a FPV F6 Typhoon in the NSW Production Touring Car Championship and a BMW 335i in the Australian Production Car Series and Bathurst 12 Hour.
More recently, Cauchi has participated in the brand new RX8 Cup Series, and is looking forward to his Toyota 86 Series debut on home turf this weekend. He will drive the car in which Pete Major finished on the podium in the previous round at Bathurst.
“I tested the 86 at Wakefield Park last week, and I loved it,” Cauchi said.
“It handles really well, it’s fun to drive, and it will suit the technical street circuit.”
While no race car has yet turned a lap of the Newcastle circuit in anger, Cauchi said the atmosphere surrounding the event has been overwhelming.
“Everyone here in Newcastle is talking about this weekend, and getting pumped for it,” he said.
“Being a local does have its advantages – even though I haven’t been able to drive around the track yet, I have walked it quite a few times so hopefully that knowledge comes in useful.”
Meanwhile, Thomas – currently sixth in the standings – has his sights set on climbing the points ladder this weekend.
“We’re sixth in the standings and with the points packed as tightly as they are, a top three result is certainly not unrealistic,” Thomas said.
“Our test day last week was very productive – we identified some areas of improvement which will serve us well this weekend.
“With it being a brand-new street circuit, we’re expecting plenty of action and possibly some drama, which we’ll be aiming to avoid.”
This weekend’s Toyota 86 Series round will consist of practice and qualifying on Friday, Races 1 and 2 on Saturday, and Race 3 on Sunday.