Aucklander Tim Leach will compete in a full season of the Toyota 86 Championship and as a rookie in the highly competitive field has set himself the task of improving every time he heads out onto the track – and having plenty of fun in the process.
Leach recently completed a University degree and is working as Marketing Manager for sponsor Winger Subaru in Auckland. He will be part of a new two car team for the 2023 championship with his car run by Winger Motorsport with support from SRS.
Tim will be jumping back in at the deep end following his sprint racing debut at Pukekohe for the non-championship Supercars weekend. Prior to that he only had a couple of endurance races and a handful of track days on his racing CV.
He’s proved he can swim with the big fish, however and isn’t daunted by the prospect.
“Yes it was the deep end but it was a fantastic event and I was pretty happy with how I went overall. We had some pace and got better and better throughout the sessions and that was really all I wanted to achieve,” he explained.
Testing since then has included track days at Highlands Motorsport Park, where the championship gets underway next month and at Teretonga Park where the second round will take place a week later.
Tim’s got plenty of laps around Hampton Downs under his belt too and will also do some testing at Ruapuna before Christmas. It’s all helping his confidence ahead of the season.
“It’s all work in progress learning how to get the most out of the car and me,” he added. “But if I can start the season at one level and make definite improvements by the end of the season I’m going to be happy with that, particularly if I’ve had some fun racing my team mate and the rest of them out there.
“Enjoying the racing is a big part of it for me but the principal goal is just to make an improvement with every session I am on track whether that’s testing, practice, qualifying or racing.”
Tim will have his chance when the 2023 season gets underway on January 13-15. With the first two back-to-back legs of the championship completed in the South Island, there’s a week off before the team heads to Hampton Downs for the 67th New Zealand Grand Prix meeting where the championship will be the main support category to the Castrol Toyota Racing Series.
A mid-season break concludes in March with round four at Taupo International Motorsport Park before the penultimate round at Manfeild, Circuit Chris Amon and then the championship decider on the shorter Hampton Downs National Circuit over the first weekend of May.