Jaylyn Robotham is all set to take on Round 2 of the Best Bars Toyota 86 Championship in New Zealand, this time headed to the South Island at Highlands Motorsport Park, January 17-19.
The rising star is coming off a stellar first round performance, where he came away with two wins and a second place putting him in the lead of the Championship so far.
“We obviously had a really good first round, winning overall and leading the Championship, which puts me into a great position heading into the next round,” admits Robotham.
“This round will be no different to the first round. I’ll be doing my best to try and hold onto the Championship lead and will just be focusing on consistency for the weekend.
“I’ve been doing a lot of training with Josh Webb from 1% Performance in the off season, so I’m feeling really great.”
Robotham has done little racing in New Zealand, with the Highlands Circuit no exception and his method of training and preparation remains as it has for the last year.
“It’s obviously challenging travelling to tracks and not having raced on them before,” said the 17-year old.
“The first round at Pukekohe was difficult learning the track in the first two practice sessions, which will be the same for this weekend – so I just have to get as much out of practice as I can. I’ve got a great team around me though, so I’m feeling confident that we can have another successful round.”
Travel this time around will be extended for the Melburnian due to rounds 2 and 3 only a week apart, meaning Robotham will stay in New Zealand for almost two weeks to see out round 3 at Invercargill’s Teretonga Park.
“Having the two rounds close together means that we will stay on rather than travel back home. I’ll just be making sure to keep up my training in between the race meetings and do a bit of homework on the Teretonga track,” admits the teen.
“I have been lucky enough to team up with Central Fitness in Cromwell, so I’ll continue my training there too.”
With a successful first round, it was a given that engineer Kerry Holland from Top Gear Autotech will continue onto the next round with Robotham, where it was clear the combination worked well.
“Kerry was awesome throughout the first round. We clicked pretty much straight away and every session we were finding speed in the car and my driving. He is very knowledgeable and it’s great to have such a great mentor and engineer on the team,” admits the young racer.
Although Robotham is 1 out of 3 Aussies competing in the New Zealand Best Bars Toyota 86 Championship, with the majority of the competitors locals, it hasn’t put the young teen off his game but admits it does add a bit off pressure (although you wouldn’t know it).
“There is a little bit of pressure being one of the three Australians in the field, racing the locals that have generally raced at these tracks before. But, I just try and keep my head down and focus on my own game and do what I need to do. It’s been a great category to come into, we have been welcomed and the competition has been great. I have no doubt that the rest of the Series will be tough, so I’ll be looking to push hard and do my best,” added Robotham.
The Best Bars Toyota 86 Series will hit the track for practice on Friday 17th January 11:15am local time, before qualifying and race 1 on Saturday and the final two races on Sunday 19th January.
Round 3 at Teretonga Park will commence the following weekend, 24-26 January.
Keep up to date with all the action via the Series website, https://www.toyota.co.nz/toyota-racing/toyota-86-championship/ as well as the Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/TGRNewZealand.