Canadian drivers make ninth nation to join TRS
Canada will be well represented on the Toyota Racing Series grid once again this summer following the recent signings of Kami LaLibertè and Delvin Defrancesco.
The series, which gets underway at Ruapuna Park, Christchurch on January 16 and 17, was taken out by 16 year old Canadian Lance Stroll last summer.
Both 16 years old, LaLibertè and Defrancesco will add to the increasingly cosmopolitan mix of countries contesting the five round series which ends with the New Zealand Grand Prix at Manfeild on February 13 and 14.
They will be up against not only the New Zealand talent but also drivers from Brazil, England, the United States, Austria, China, India and France who have confirmed their spots in the 15 race series.
Defrancesco, who is originally from Toronto but grew up in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, is a member of the Chip Ganassi Racing talent identification programme in North America.
Chip Ganassi Racing is world renowned with nine teams across four series including NASCAR, the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, Global RallyCross Series and the IndyCar series, where Aucklander Scott Dixon has won the championship four times and the Indy 500 with the Ganassi team.
After a successful karting career, Defrancesco has spent this year racing in Britain’s Ginetta Junior Championship, learning the circuits he will race on in 2016 when he contests the British Formula 4 Championship.
Defrancesco was the Canadian junior karting champion in 2013, and in 2014 he finished third in the European Championship.
LaLibertè from Quebec has spent this year racing in the French Formula 4 Championship, where he finished ninth overall, with a best place of third at the Magny-Cours round. He also did three rounds of the German Formula 4 series, which he will contest in full in 2016.
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.
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