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Our alumni are out in force this coming season, and it’s not just the Class of 2019 you can look forward to following this coming year. Dozens of drivers who have competed in the Toyota Racing Series (TRS) over the years will compete all over the world in a huge variety of racing disciplines. Here are a few of note to look out for.
Champion Liam Lawson is out in FIA Formula Three for the 2019 season, representing Red Bull, and will continue his rivalry with Marcus Armstrong for Prema Racing. Both are already underway with their testing. They will be joined by Raoul Hyman for the Sauber Junior Team/Charouz, and Artem Petrov is another runner in that championship with Jenzer.
Lucas Auer will also represent Red Bull, running in the Japanese Super Formula.
Kazuto Kotaka runs in his home Formula Three Championship in Japan with TOM’S, while Petr Ptacek will race for BhaiTech in Formula Renault Eurocup. Esteban Muth runs with M2 Competition in that championship as well. Jackson Walls and Thomas Smith return to CAMS Formula Four in Australia while Parker Locke – the man who clocked up the highest mileage in the TRS season – should be a challenger in Indy Pro 2000 for Exclusive Motorsport. If you follow Formula One, no fewer than nine alumni are currently involved.
Toro Rosso driver Daniil Kvyat, Racing Point’s Lance Stroll and McLaren’s Lando Norris all have race seats this season, while Brendon Hartley, Guanyu Zhou, Nicholas Latifi, Sergio Sette Camara, Juan Manuel Correa and Tatiana Calderon will take up positions as test and reserve drivers for Ferrari, Renault F1 Team, Williams, McLaren and Alfa Romeo Racing respectively.
Lance Stroll takes up the challenge of his first season, racing for the new-look Racing Point team, a renamed Force India outfit where he will be alongside the highly regarded Sergio Perez. It will be fascinating to see how Stroll gets on, not only against Perez but also in a car that is likely to be more competitive than the Williams was last season.
Fascinating too will be the first season in the top class for Lando Norris, our 2016 champion, as he begins his Formula One career aboard the new McLaren Renault, a machine that has certainly looked more promising in recent tests than recent McLaren racers.
Stateside, keep your eyes out for Santino Ferruci, who’ll be racing in IndyCar this season with Dale Coyne Racing, while Callum Illott and Juan Manuel Correa will be racing in FIA Formula Two with Sauber Junior Team/Charouz. Kiwis Nick Cassidy and Mitch Evans will also be under the international single-seater spotlight again, Cassidy running once again in Super Formula and Super GT and Mitch Evans in Formula E with Panasonic Jaguar.