The Kiwis are coming:
Reid Harker will join Ryan Yardley to race in the 2017 Australian Toyota 86 Racing Series.
The pair are on their way to the opening round this weekend at Phillip Island in Victoria.
Yardley, 18, won the six-round New Zealand Championship with Harker second.
Now the pair begin their international racing careers in Australian series.
Harker, 21, has raced two full seasons of the Toyota 86 Championship in New Zealand. He began his racing career in karting then moved into the Castrol BMW Race Driver Series in a BMW E30 before stepping up into the Toyota 86 Championship in 2015-2016.
Harker says the Australian cars have a different specification to the TR 86 racers used in New Zealand, and run on DOT road-racing tyres rather than the slick used in this country. He doesn’t think the adjustment will pose major problems, though he is wary of the 38-strong grid for this weekend’s opening round.
“It’s a competitive series with plenty of experienced drivers. I want to take that next step.”
Confirmation of the dual Kiwi challenge re-ignites a trans-Tasman rivalry that began with Aussies Will Brown and Drew Ridge contesting the opening round of the 2016-2017 New Zealand championship in November 2016.
The Phillip Island race weekend begins with two practice sessions on Friday followed by qualifying on Saturday Morning. There are three races for the 86 series: Saturday afternoon, Sunday morning and Sunday afternoon.