You are currently viewing Ryan en route towards Toyota 86 campaign
Ryan Denize, 17, is making great strides in motorsport. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

Ryan en route towards Toyota 86 campaign

Ryan Denize has done all the right things to get him ready for the biggest race of his life.
The 17-year-old’s stint in motorsport began around four years ago, when he started racing in autocross events. He then moved on to track racing at Hampton Downs, time trials, dual sprints, and multi-car sprints, before he proved himself in the improved production cars category, claiming first overall during a recent North Island championship.
He’s now gearing up for a premier-level event that attracts rising racers and some of the highest profile names in New Zealand motorsport – the Toyota 86 Championship.
“All of the cars are the same, which is why it’s so competitive,” he said. “It 100 per cent comes down to the driver’s skills.”
The championship kicks off in November, and Ryan, from Patetonga, has shown his dedication by organising MacKenzie Motorsport to help run his car.
But the racing season will cost him $150,000, and he requires sponsorship and donations to help get him over the line.
“We’re committed now, there’s no going back, and we will make it happen,” Ryan told The Profile. “I’ve known about this specific 86 race since 2017 when we first watched it. Dad said to me: ‘You’re going to do this one day. If you want it, you can make it happen’.”
At 17, Ryan has been – and will be – competing alongside people of all ages, most of them experienced adults who have been racing for a number of years.
But when he gets behind the wheel, he said any nerves about the race dissipate when his foot hits the accelerator.
“I know I will be competitive, and I know I’ll have a chance of winning,” he said. “I know what I want out of this.”
The Toyota 86 series returns this year for its eleventh championship season, after making its debut on New Zealand’s race tracks in 2013.
It will welcome a fresh draft of racers across a close-fought six-round battle, starting in November and finishing in April, 2024.
Ryan’s car has been sponsored by Dale ITM, which has a branch in Kopu, and the Hauraki Plains College pupil hopes the race will be a stepping stone towards a professional career.
He said he was a “country kid chasing a dream” but the cost of participating in the 86 series was an “enormous” financial hurdle for him to overcome alone.
DETAILS: To help Ryan with sponsorship or donations, contact dad Andy on 027 459 1293 or find Ryan Denize on Facebook. A Givealittle page has also been established to help Ryan. Visit and search ‘Ryan Denize’.