Indian racing driver Jehan Daruvula will add to the increasingly cosmopolitan mix of drivers contesting this summer’s Toyota Racing Series which starts at Ruapuna Park, Christchurch on January 16 and 17.
He joins drivers from Brazil, England, the United States, Austria, China, France and New Zealand who have already confirmed they will race in the five round, 15 race series, which ends with the New Zealand Grand Prix at Manfeild on February 13 and 14.
Daruvula is part of the Force India Academy, the Indian backed Formula One team which grooms drivers for a possible drive at the top level.
He has been based in Britain since he was 13 years old to further his racing career. In Europe, the now 17 years old Daruvula has finished second in the German Kart Championship and third in the World Championship in 2014.
This year he moved up to Formula Renault, competing throughout Europe, but concentrating on the Northern European Championship where he finished fifth and second rookie. Daruvula’s best results were second at the Nurburgring and third places at the Red Bull Ring and Hockenheim in the seven round, 14 race series.
“I am looking forward to an early start with the New Zealand Toyota series in 2016," said Daruvula, whose car will be engineered by the Hamilton based M2 Competition team.
"It’s great that I have a very competitive teammate [Lando Norris]. I am sure that we will be able to push each other to keep improving.”
Norris will not only be Daruvala's teammate in the Toyota series, but also in the NEC and Eurocup championships in 2016.
After initial karting success in Asia in 2011 and 2012, the Mumbai resident headed north.
“Once you attain a decent level of karting in Asia you need to move to Europe,” said Daruvula. “That is where you can truly gauge your potential and push yourself to improve, racing against the best karters in the world.”
The Toyota Racing Series is held over five consecutive weekends, with practice sessions on the Friday, qualifying and one race on the Saturday and two races on the Sunday.