THREE AUSTRALIANS are set to challenge drivers from all over the world when New Zealand’s Toyota Racing Series commences this weekend.
The open-wheel series which was won by Australian Thomas Randle in 2017 and played host to a number of now Formula 1 drivers, including Lance Stroll, Daniil Kvyat, Lando Norris and Brendon Hartley will see a fresh contingent of young Australians when it kicks off this weekends at Highlands Motorsport Park, in Cromwell.
After a year based in Europe, Western Australian driver Calan Williams will take his Formula 3 experience to New Zealand to gain further experience against a high-quality field of drivers, who represent up to ten nations from all over the world. He’ll be joined by Australian Formula 4 graduates, Jackson Walls from Sydney and Thomas Smith from Melbourne who will also look to make their mark.
This years Toyota Racing Series is stacked with talented youngsters. Leading the international charge will be Mercedes junior driver Lucas Auer from Austria, who has already tested current F1 machinery as well as raced for several seasons in DTM. Other drivers of note include Toyota Scholarship and Formula 4 ace Kazuto Kotaka from Japan and Asian Formula 3 champion Raoul Hyman from South Africa.
Kiwi driver, Marcus Armstrong returns to lead the local charge after having the title slip from his grasp on the last lap of the last race last season. Liam Lawson is a couple of steps behind him in experience, but has won in Formula 3 already and is eager to prove his skills in the Toyota. Brendon Leitch, the most experienced driver in the FT-50 car, returns also.
The 2019 Toyota Racing Series begins at Highlands Motorsport Park in New Zealand’s South Island before moving to the world’s most southern circuit, the sweeping and challenging Teretonga, a week later.
It then moves to New Zealand’s North Island with events at Hampton Downs in the Waikato where the winner will take home New Zealand’s oldest motorsport trophy, the New Zealand Motor Cup before the penultimate weekend at the Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park, Taupo, the former A1GP circuit.
The championship concludes on February 10 at Manfeild Circuit Chris Amon with the New Zealand Grand Prix, which along with Macau’s Formula 3 race is one of only two FIA recognised Grand Prix events outside of the Formula One World Championship.
2019 Castrol Toyota Racing Series Entry List
5 TBC, mtec Motorsport
7 Raoul Hyman, South Africa, Giles Motorsport
8 Marcus Armstrong, New Zealand, M2 Competition
9 Petr Ptacek, Czech Republic, Giles Motorsport
10 Liam Lawson, New Zealand, M2 Competition
11 Jackson Walls, Australia, mtec Competition
12 Artem Petrov, Russia, M2 Competition
16 Thomas Smith, Australia, Giles Motorsport
21 Dev Gore, United States, Giles Motorsport
22 Lucas Auer, Austria, M2 Competition
28 Cameron Das, United States, M2 Competition
30 Esteban Muth, Belgium, M2 Competition
36 Kazuto Kotaka, Japan, mtec Motorsport
54 Calan Williams, Australia, mtec Motorsport
66 Parker Locke, United States, Victory Motor Racing
86 Brendon Leitch, New Zealand, Victory Motor Racing
2019 Castrol Toyota Racing Series Schedule
January 12-13 – Dorothy Smith Memorial Cup – Highlands Motorsport Park, Cromwell
January 19-20 – Spirit Of A Nation Trophy – Teretonga Park, Invercargill
January 26-27 – NZ Motor Cup – Hampton Downs Motorsport Park, Waikato
February 2-3 – Denny Hulme Trophy – Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park, Taupo
February 9-10 – New Zealand Grand Prix – Manfeild Circuit Chris Amon, Feilding
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Date posted: January 9, 2019