After a heavily disrupted 2020 season, Harry Gray was determined to make the most out of the 2021 Toyota 86 season and managed to secure a number of top ten finishes and two top five results.
Firstly, how would you rate your season?
HG: I would probably say around a 6 or 7 mark if I was scoring it out of 10. I was happy with a lot of the things we did, we had plenty of speed and potential. It was a really big learning year but with the COVID interruption, it made it pretty hard to get the consistency going being off the track for so long.
The first Sydney round saw you consistently finishing in the top five, what do you think those results came down to?
HG: Sydney Motorsport Park is my home track so I’ve done quite a few laps there and know the track really well. I think also still sleeping at home was actually really helpful.
What impact did those high results have on you heading into the last couple rounds?
HG: It was great going forward knowing that we had the speed to be battling for podiums. Those two weeks in Sydney were actually quite a big learning curve for me and a big reason why I started to feel more confident in the car.
How do you think your results compared to your expectations at the start of the season?
HG: The biggest expectation I had for myself at the start of the year was to be up around that top ten mark. I thought with the little bit of experience I had in that category that we might be able to run inside the top ten. At the first round, I qualified 8th so I was really happy with how the year was looking from the start. I’m hoping to see myself around that top five next year.
Is there any race or moment you wish you could go back and relive?
HG: I would love to get back in that battle with Bailey Sweeny at Eastern Creek, that was really good fun, it was probably the highlight of my season. It was good to be able to battle him and not be attacked so much from the cars behind. It gave us the chance to just focus on battling each other.
You obviously started the year at Bathurst and ended the year at Bathurst so how did you find your progression between the two events?
HG: I definitely know that my driving has improved a lot since Bathurst at the beginning of the year, even if my results show otherwise. We had a lot of dramas at the most recent Bathurst. It would have been a great test to see how much I really have improved in the past 12 months. I would have loved to have been running up with Bailey Sweeny and Jobe Stewart and I think that’s probably where I should have been. My race craft has definitely improved a lot and is something I have really worked on throughout the year.
What are your current plans for next year?
HG: My current plan for next year is to give the 86 series another go. It all really comes down to the funds. My two major sponsors were impacted quite heavily by COVID but fingers crossed I’ll be able to race T86 again next year.