Hundreds of car enthusiasts at Toyota Festival

Hundreds of car enthusiasts at Toyota Festival
Hundreds of car enthusiasts at Toyota Festival

A record turnout of Toyotas, from 1960s classics to brand new 2017 models, and their passionate owners, converged on the Hampton Downs race track between Hamilton and Auckland for this year’s Toyota Festival.

One of  the  highlights  was  a variety of generations of  the Corolla, New Zealand’s largest selling  car, celebrating its 50 years on  the New  Zealand market.

With a greater variety of activities, the annual celebration of all things Toyota goes from strength to strength.

First started in 2013, in support of an 86 Owners Club and MR2 Club  track day, the Toyota Festival has expanded quickly to include all models.

For the first time, individual model groups – 86 Owners, NZ GT Four (Celica) Owners, Soarer Owners and NZ Supra Owners – had  separate displays to highlight  their  pride and joy.

“It’s great to see the enthusiasm people have for their Toyotas,” said Andrew Davis, Toyota’s general manager of marketing. “The festival has  got  bigger each year as more people make the most of the opportunity to enjoy their cars on and off  the track.”

“When we arrived at the circuit, the enthusiasts had already lined up  in their groups ready to get into the day. It was such an impressive gathering of Toyota devotees, and we thank them for supporting the brand and giving us the opportunity to bring everyone together to simply enjoy the cars and each other’s company.”

Sizeable numbers of Toyota 86s, both the mid-80s icon and the modern sports coupe, were also present.

A record 162 entries across the National circuit track and International GT circuit cruise sessions, drift sessions, Motokhana, and the 4x4 track, saw Toyota enthusiasts experiencing a wide variety of events.

The 4x4 course was available for the second year running for 4x4 enthusiasts to try out the abilities of their SUVs, utes and 4WDs.

For the first time this year there was a motokhana for the fastest time around a relatively slow speed coned course that puts an emphasis on driving skill and accuracy, with an unassuming 1JZ powered station wagon taking it out with the quickest time.

There was plenty to do off-track, too, with hundreds of vehicles turning out for the tightly contested “Show and Shine” competition, aimed at contestants who take pride in maintaining the showroom new look of their cars.

Next year’s Toyota Festival has been rumoured to return to the South Island.

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