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The road to the 2019 Castrol Toyota Racing Series is one that Category Manager Nico Caillol is a long way down. He’s just completed a monster three-month trip visiting some of the busiest motor racing countries and series in the world, in his quest to bring the best young single-seater drivers to New Zealand in 2019 and beyond.
The trip, which included a week in Australia, two weeks in the United States, a week in Malaysia and two mammoth five-week stints in Europe, looks to be hitting the mark for the Castrol Toyota Racing Series team, with well over 100 drivers and teams briefed on what to expect from the championship next season.
The big news for all prospective drivers next year is that the Toyota Racing Series can secure points towards a vital FIA ‘Super Licence’ – the elite racing licence required to race in Formula One.
All of the top-placed drivers in the next championship will get points towards that ‘holy grail’ of motorsport licences, and it was a message that Nico says was well received by everyone he met.
“It’s quite a wide audience you aim to speak to, so drivers, managers and parents are key,” explains Nico. “Everyone we managed to speak to could see the value and benefit in taking part in the series, because it is not only the only ‘winter’ series that provides FIA Super Licence points, but also the most cost-effective way to go racing at that time of year, and quite simply the best way to be race sharp for their main Northern Hemisphere seasons.
“In Australia we attended the Formula Four AUS round at Phillip Island, and we visited the IndyCar meeting in Road America in the United States to talk to USF2000, and Pro Mazda racers and the Formula USA meeting in Mid-Ohio. In Malaysia we attend the new Formula Three Asian series to see the new product from our partner Tatuus, and in Europe we visited all the series that are the core market for us, so Formula Four in Italy, the United Kingdom, Germany and France; Eurocup FR2.0; FIA European Formula Three; British Formula Three; and Open Euroformula. So yes, we did a lot of miles spreading the word and briefing potential drivers!”