Double WSK world champion kart racer Clement Novalak is the first international driver confirmed for the 2018 Castrol Toyota Racing Series (TRS).
Born in France but raised in Switzerland, Novalak (16) began competitive karting in the French championship in 2012. He has been racing in the United Kingdom for the world-renowned Tony Kart factory team.
He has a string of top karting results to his name. In 2015 he won the WSK Super Master Series junior title and finished second in the CIK-FIA World KF Junior Championship. The following year he was second at the MSA Kartmasters Grand Prix in the Senior OK class. This year he backed his WSK junior title with victory in the senior competition and finished third in the Swedish Championship, also in the OK class.
Kart racing is considered an essential foundation for a motor racing career, and most drivers now competing at the top of the sport worldwide have started in karts. Novalak says word of mouth alerted him to the value of contesting TRS.
“I first heard about TRS from my good friend Marcus Armstrong. Many other drivers are recommending it as a great championship because you get to do a lot of racing action in a short space of time without the normal huge break between two seasons which tends to get boring for us drivers. TRS will be my first step into formula cars from karts, and I'm really looking forward to it,” said Novalak.
He will contest the 2018 Castrol Toyota Racing Series with Giles Motorsport. Novalak says being a rookie he will focus on learning as much as possible during his time in New Zealand and getting as much racing experience as he can.
“I'll obviously go there with a winning mindset but thinking about developing myself as a driver and taking any opportunities given to me. In the meantime, I will be trying to get as much driving in single-seaters as I can so I am ready for TRS,” he said.
Like all racers who are serious about their craft, he has been watching onboard video footage of previous TRS seasons and has downloaded circuit simulations so he can ‘drive’ the five circuits visited in the five-week season.
After his New Zealand season which concludes with the New Zealand Grand Prix at Manfeild on February 9-11, Novalak intends to pursue a Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup championship.
The 2018 Castrol Toyota Racing Series starts at Ruapuna, Christchurch over the weekend of January 12 – 14.