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Jimmy Vernon and Cameron Hill will resume championship battle in Sydney - Photo: Rhys Vandersyde

Jimmy Vernon and Cameron Hill will resume championship battle in Sydney – Photo: Rhys Vandersyde

Toyota Rally star Harry Bates and Touring Car Masters championship contender Steven Johnson will join the Toyota 86 Racing Series as the invited drivers at Sydney Motorsport Park.

The two drivers will add an extra challenge to title contenders Jimmy Vernon and Cameron Hill as they tackle their “local” race track for the first time this year.

Cameron Hill dominated the last round up in Townsville, will be hoping to take advantage of the his experience last where he started off pole and won two of the three races to make inroads on the Jimmy Vernon’s championship lead.

“Last year was a really good meeting for us with pole position and two wins and a third,” Hill said.

“Hopefully we can score another strong result there, especially coming off a successful run at Townsville.” he continued.

Bates, who is about to debut a new Toyota Yaris rally car, is also looking forward to the challenge of competing on tarmac.

“I am sure there will be some rally experience that will help, but there are new techniques to learn,” Bates said.

“For the first time I’ll be racing door-to-door with other cars instead of against the clock.”

Toyota have also invited former Bathurst winner Jason Bargwanna to act as a driver mentor for the weekend.

Jimmy Vernon currently leads the championship with 470 points over Cameron Hill who sits on 334 point. Fellow Sydneysiders Dylan Thomas, Luke King and Tim Brook round out the top five in the championship.

We have more of the latest news in the current issue of Auto Action Magazine, on sale now. Also make sure you follow Auto Action on FacebookTwitter and Instagram for updates throughout the Supercars round at Sydney Motorsport Park next weekend.