Highlands Motorsport Park plays host to a special celebration of New Zealand’s best-selling car manufacturer with this weekend’s Toyota Festival.
Now in its fourth year, the Toyota Festival was conceived in 2013 by a group of Toyota 86 owners and originally established as a track event for Toyota 86 owners and clubs. The 2014 and 2015 Toyota Festivals took place at Highlands’ sister track, Hampton Downs Motorsport Park, and was open to fans of all Toyota models, offering them unique on-track opportunities.
Kiwi music icon Dave Dobbyn opened the festival with a special performance for festival participants and guests in the Hilux Man Cave, aka the Highlands National Motorsport Museum.
The 2016 Toyota Festival continues over the weekend (19-20 March) at Highlands with opportunities for registered participants to take their Toyota out on the Highlands GT circuit and plenty for all keen Toyota enthusiasts to see and enjoy.
Josie Spillane, Highlands’ chief operating officer, says: “We’re absolutely delighted that Toyota chose Highlands Motorsport Park as the venue to celebrate the Toyota Festival in 2016. Highlands has had strong links with Toyota since we first opened, hosting a round of the Toyota Racing Series and as the home of 22 Toyota 86s which belong to our members and have been customised to suit their needs on the circuit and on the road. Now that Hampton Downs is part of the same organisation as Highlands, we can see our relationship strengthening even further.
“Saturday’s track activities for registered participants offer an incredible opportunity to participate in the Toyota Festival in the best way possible – driving the best race circuit in New Zealand, which is unquestionably the favourite of many who race and visit Highlands Motorsport Park.
“Then there’s the Toyota Show and Shine which is not limited to just road cars; we want the best of them all to be on display. Whether your Toyota is a 4WD, a hatchback, wagon or SUV, they are all eligible to be in with a chance to win. Judging will commence at 9.00am and the winners will be announced at 2.00pm.
“Everyone who brings their Toyota along on the day has a chance to win spot prizes like hot laps in our race-ready Toyota 86s.”
On Sunday, a group of pre-registered participants head off on a Toyota 4x4 adventure day to explore some of Central Otago’s famed landscapes. They will also have the company of Dave Dobbyn, who is looking forward to getting up into the high country of Central Otago, and see the cave of the famous merino sheep Shrek.
“The Toyota Festival is all about meeting and greeting fellow owners,” says Ms Spillane. “What a wonderful opportunity to enjoy Toyotas of all shapes and sizes, old, new, modified – lots and lots of Toyotas!”
Highlands Motorsport Park will be open as usual all Otago Anniversary weekend, so all spectators coming along to the Toyota Festival – which has free entry – are welcome to take part in any of the usual Highlands adventures and action such as the go-karts, FastLaps and the Highlands Taxi.