Toyota Australia has announced plans for a new Toyota 86 Pro-Am race series.

Toyota Australia has announced plans for a new Toyota 86 Pro-Am race series.

Set to kick off next year, the series will feature up to five professional drivers who will "mentor and compete against a larger field of amateur drivers who will qualify to get onto the starting grid."  They will use a modified Toyota 86 and race exclusively at select V8 Supercars events.

Toyota was coy on specifics but the race car will feature a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that has been equipped with a sports exhaust system, a remote oil cooler and a programmable ECU that will provide an "increase in performance" over the road-going model.  The car will also have an adjustable coil-over suspension, high-performance brakes and a roll cage.

While Toyota declined to release detailed performance specifications, they confirmed the development car has lapped Mt Panorama in 2:42.6, Wakefield Park in 1:08.7 and the Winton Motor Raceway in 1:37.8.

According to Toyota Australia executive director of sales and marketing, Tony Cramb, "The Toyota 86 Pro-Am series will present genuine, dynamic and entertaining racing to a broad audience, including big crowds at each round and a large audience on free-to-air and pay TV."  He went on to say "The dynamic abilities and fun-to-drive characteristics of the 86 provide a credible platform for motorsport - and many owners already compete regularly in tarmac rallies, lap dashes and other events."

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Toyota 86 Pro-Am race series announced for Australia [video]