Norris win a landmark for NZ’s Castrol Toyota single seater championship

Lando 2016 (940 x 450)

A sensational day in Miami for Brit Lando Norris proved to be a landmark for New Zealand’s international single seater championship too.

Lando was the Castrol Toyota Racing Series champion in 2016 and in a fantastic season also won the NZ Grand Prix. In winning his first F1 Grand Prix in the States earlier this week, Lando became the first TRS graduate to win in F1.

The McLaren driver made the most of a mid-race Safety Car period which fell perfectly for him and his change to fresh rubber was effectively a free pit stop.

Armed with more pace, he put years of fighting for his first win behind him and put in a stint that was fast enough to break the challenge of the dominant Max Verstappen.

Norris’ win propels him to fourth in the F1 World Championship – splitting the two Ferraris of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz. More importantly for him, McLaren look to have found Red Bull beating pace with their latest rounds of upgrades.

Norris told Autosport: “What a race. It's been a long time coming. But finally I've managed to do it. "I'm so happy for my whole team that I finally delivered for them.

“And yeah, a long day, tough race, but I'm finally on top, so I'm over the moon.”

More than 20 drivers who have competed in New Zealand’s premier motorsport championship have practised, tested or raced factory-run F1 cars, with Yuki Tsunoda and Liam Lawson the latest two superstars to include the Castrol Toyota Racing Series or the Castrol Toyota FR Oceania Championship on their racing resumes.