Tom Toparis – 2016 RK Chains Samurai Trophy finalist | Sport
Key industry members have voted Tom Toparis one of the four finalists for the 2016 RK Chains Samurai Trophy.
AMCN readers are now invited to be involved with the voting process to determine the winner of the 2016 award.
The four finalists are:
Voting closes on 16 January, and the winner announced on 30 January.
Name: Tom Toparis
Resides: Goulburn, New South Wales
Category raced in 2016: Australian Up to 300cc Production Championship
This young gun has already been labelled as a possible next big thing in Australian motorcycle racing and, you never know, maybe a future world champion. Toparis joined the Cube Racing team in 2016, which also marked his first ever year in national road racing period. He was under the watchful eye of former superbike racer Ben Henry and had former Goulburn resident Troy Herfoss in his corner steering him along. Toparis’s year got underway with a 10th at his home round at Wakefield Park, and he followed this up with a fourth at the Sydney Motorsport Park round. His breakthrough podium came over in the west in June when he scored a 2-3-2 result to pick up second place. And the following round at Morgan Park he snared pole position and three solid race wins to take out his maiden round victory, giving him a mathematical chance of winning the title. He backed up his Morgan Park victory with another round win at Winton Motor Raceway and just missed out on the championship by 14 points.
As well as possessing superb pure riding skills, Toparis’s behaviour off the track is huge credit to both him and his parents Richard and Vanessa. ‘Tommy’ is simply one of the nicest kids on the block and a breath of fresh air to the sport. In terms of dealing with the media, you could be forgiven for thinking you were talking to a 35-year-old factory rider rather than a teenager. Toparis tells it how it is and keeps the sponsors very happy, which is a big part of the whole game. Next year he will step up to the Supersport class, again racing for Cube Racing team. After what we saw at the Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix in October, he could be a dark horse for a top five overall championship finish in 2017!