Lando Norris, the youngest ever winner of the World Karting Championship is the latest driver to confirm he will compete in the Toyota Racing Series which gets under way at Ruapuna on January 16 and 17.
Trumpeted as the next big thing to come out of British motor racing, 16 year old Norris will be using the Toyota Racing Series as a stepping stone into a season of European Formula Three or Formula Renault in 2016.
As a 14 year old, he won the 2014 World Karting title in France, surpassing the record for the youngest champion previously held by current triple Formula One World Champion Lewis Hamilton.
Norris graduated to single seaters at the start of this year competing in the British Motorsport Association Formula 4 category which is now becoming recognised around the world as the 21st century replacement for Formula Ford.
He won the opening round and by the end of the season had amassed an impressive eight wins and six second places in the 30 race series to take the title.
“It took a bit of getting used to the higher speeds and the bigger tracks,” said Norris. “Qualifying has been a strong point so this has made the racing easier as overtaking is something I still need to work on.”
From Bristol in England, Norris started karting as a seven year old in the cadet class and progressed through the ranks to win three major Junior European titles in 2013 before stepping up to the open class and his world title winning season last year.
Toyota Racing Series category manager Barrie Thomlinson says “Lando is a very exciting young talent who has already proven he has the outright speed to be a title contender in TRS, it will be interesting to see how he approaches the challenge that TRS will provide.”
Norris will join Pedro Piquet as part of a six-car entry from M2 Competition in the Toyota Racing Series which 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.
The full TRS schedule is:
January 16/17 Ruapuna, Christchurch
January 23/24 Teretonga, Invercargill
January 30/31 Hampton Downs, North Waikato
February 6/7 Taupo
February 13/14 New Zealand Grand Prix, Manfeild, Manawatu