Canberra’s Cameron Hillcrosses the Tasman

Canberra driver Cameron Hill has crossed the Tasman for his first race on foreign soil as he looks to leave the disappointment of his Australian campaign behind.
Nanjing Night Net

Hill will race in the opening round of the New Zealand Toyota 86 racing championship at Pukekohe Park Raceway on Saturday.

Hill’s hopes of claiming the Toyota 86 Australian series title were dashed by a Mount Panorama mishap despite winning the opening race on the famed Bathurst track.

Elation soon turned to despair after he was disqualified because a crew member touched the car while it was under post-race parc ferme conditions, eventually ruining his championship hopes.

Hill won’t be gunning for the overall New Zealand title, with his maiden race overseas simply a chance to get a taste of international competition.

The weekend looms as a huge opportunity for the 20-year-old – who raced internationally in his go-karting days – as he prepares to make the jump to a new series next year

“I haven’t raced overseas in a car before, but I’ve always watched the Pukekohe Supercars races on TV and wanted to experience the circuit,” Hill said.

“When the opportunity came up to race in this weekend’s event, I grabbed it with both hands – any chance to race on a new circuit is valuable so a big thank you to Geoff [Short, category manager] for giving me the drive this weekend.”

Hill is eyeing the Supercars championship and will take the next step towards his dream when he leaves the Toyota 86 Series at the end of this year.

He qualified fastest in every round of the series and won five races in a row before his Australian series went up in smoke.

But he is refusing to get ahead of himself as he heads to Auckland to race with slightly different cars on a track he’s never seen.

“I will be racing against local drivers who already have experience at Pukekohe, and I only have one practice session to learn the track and then it’s straight into qualifying and racing,” Hill said.

“Also, the New Zealand Toyota 86 race cars have some subtle differences compared to the Australian versions, especially with brakes and tyres, so I will need to get my head around the best driving technique.

“One of the best things this weekend is there’s no championship situation to think about – I can just focus on doing the best job I can in each individual race.”

NEW ZEALAND TOYOTA 86 CHAMPIONSHIP

Friday – 7.30am AEDT – Practice (20 min), 11.35am AEDT – Qualifying (20 min)

Saturday – 8.45am AEDT – Race 1 (12 laps), 1pm AEDT – Race 2 (14 laps)

Sunday – 11.20am AEDT – Race 3 (14 laps)

All races will be shown live on Fox Sports 506 as part of the Auckland SuperSprint coverage.

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