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THE first Toyota 86 to hit Australia’s race tracks looks set to make it’s racing debut at the Bathurst Motor Festival this Easter – and the team in question hopes fans of the hugely popular new car come along for the ride.

The Pedders Motorsport team is set to be the first to race the new sports coupe’ in Australia – and possibly the world in production-based form - and has organised a drive event at Mount Panorama to help celebrate the vehicles debut as part of the Production Touring Car field next weekend.

Owners of Toyota 86s and the classic Toyota AE86 – plus other classic Toyota sports cars – have the opportunity to get three laps of the circuit in their own car in an organised parade session as part of the Motor Festival weekend.

Entrants will be included in an official photo shoot on pit straight and will receive a certificate of participation for their involvement.

Pedders Motorsport team Principal Grant Phillips said his team was ready to make the debut of the 86 at a national level.

“Our team is a local outfit and we have proven to be strong over the last couple of seasons of racing, so taking on the challenge with the Toyota 86 has been a tough one – but a worthwhile one as well,” he said.

“It has been a learning experience but to be in the group of the world’s earliest teams to commit to racing Toyota’s new sports car has been great for our team and for our sponsors.”

Phillips said his team was hoping to generate a supporter base amongst like minded owners of the much-hyped sports car – and its ancestors.

“Taking our Pedders Racing Toyota 86 to the Mountain is going to be an experience in itself, and to be joined by a group of Toyota 86 owners, along with some of the original Toyota AE86s, Sprinters and Truenos will create a spectacle for the fans.
“It should also be a memorable experience for those who hit the track and hopefully will be another step in cementing the status of the car – and the enjoyment people can get out of the Bathurst Motor Festival each Easter.”

The team also unveiled the livery of the Pedders-sponsored car that will debut at the Motor Festival next weekend.

Event Director James O’Brien said it was part of the Bathurst Motor Festival’s appeal to be able to accommodate clubs and competitors in such a way.

“The Bathurst Motor Festival is geared towards the enthusiast competitor and opening access to Mount Panorama for those who otherwise might not have the opportunity,” he said.

“What the Pedders Racing team are putting together is exactly the kind of thing that the Event can embrace and we are happy to welcome them, and their fellow Toyota owners and supporters, to Mount Panorama this Easter.

“We are happy to be involved to make this unique opportunity possible for the team and their supporters.”

The 2013 Bathurst Motor Festival will be held across the Easter long weekend, March 29-31.

The Bathurst Motor Festival will feature the opening round of the Formula 3 Australian Drivers Championship, NSW Production Touring Cars, Group N historic Touring Cars, Production Sports Cars, Formula Vee and regularity categories, the New South Wales Road Racing Club and NSW Porsche Club.