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Toyota Racing New Zealand is well settled into its new purpose-built home at the Hampton Downs race circuit.
Next door to the Hampton Downs museum, with panoramic views out onto the challenging circuit; the facility features a spacious and well-lit build floor housing the FT 50 race cars of TRS and the purpose-built TR 86 race cars of the 86 Championship.
There are also offices and workshop spaces for support functions such as composite repair and fabrication required to keep the FT 50 cars in top condition. Toyota New Zealand Motorsport Manager Steve Boyce says they have also reviewed roles within the organisation and are in the process of appointing a second category manager who will work alongside the experienced Sarah Brown.
In addition, globally respected motorsport identity Steve Horne has put his extensive knowledge and expertise behind the championship and will act as a consultant.
“As we bed-in the new TRNZ facility, we have taken the opportunity to evolve how we deliver the championship and review key roles within the organisation. It’s a very exciting time for Toyota Racing New Zealand, and having the benefit of Steve’s international motor racing experience is incredibly valuable.”
Toyota Racing New Zealand has now confirmed all five rounds of the 2018 Championship.
For 2018, the Castrol Toyota Racing Series will follow the proven order established in recent years with five consecutive weekends of motor racing beginning at Ruapuna on 12-14 January with the coveted Lady Wigram Trophy, then moving to Teretonga near Invercargill the following weekend for the Spirit of the Nation Cup, before making the haul north to Hampton Downs in the Waikato for the historic New Zealand Motor Cup, south to Taupo for the Denny Hulme Memorial Trophy and then to the New Zealand Grand Prix at Manfeild.
Boyce says the 20 TRS drives are keenly sought after by rising race stars from New Zealand and around the world.
“With two TRS graduates now racing in Formula One, another four involved as test drivers, another two having won the Le Mans 24-hour race, one racing in Formula E, and multiple TRS champion Nick Cassidy racing Super GT for Lexus and Super Formula for Toyota in Japan, the role of the Toyota Racing Series in honing the skills and race craft of young drivers is indisputable.”
The winter ‘off season’ work of stripping, checking and rebuilding the FT 50 race cars used in the championship is done, the cars now wear their new livery, and the massive behind-the-scenes logistics effort that supports the summer series is complete. It’s time to go racing.