Williams set to begin 2019 European challenge with NZ warm up
Perth-based Euroformula Open Championship racer Calan Williams will continue his eye-catching rise through the junior formulae by beginning the 2019 season with the Castrol Toyota Racing Series in New Zealand.
Williams captured the attention of many in Europe last season, running rounds of the Euroformula Open Championship winter season with Fortec Motorsport before undertaking the full 2018 season.
In one of the most competitive single seater championships in Europe, his best performance came at the Monza round where he qualified fifth for the first race and then put the car on the second row in third for the second race. He was taken out in both races but fought back to finish inside the top ten twice.
Williams started racing at the age of seven in karts winning multiple club championships and a few state level events before moving to single seaters in 2015. He won his first Formula Ford event in the Western Australian State Championship and went on to secure second overall in the 2016 Western Australian State Championship. He went even better in 2017, winning the Australian Formula 3 Championship.
When he steps into the Mtec Motorsport run car for the first event of the five round Kiwi championship in January, it will be the first time he will race on New Zealand soil and he is looking forward to the championship challenge, where he will be regarded as a potential title challenger.
"I’m aiming to gain as much racing experience as possible against strong competition before heading into a competitive season of European racing in 2019, it's really as simple as that," he explained. Williams is one of three confirmed Australians heading to New Zealand for the summer.
"The championship is compact, professional and the cars are evenly matched with some challenging circuits for all the drivers to get their heads around,” he added. “I will learn a lot and it will help me prepare for a big year in Europe."
Up to 20 drivers will compete for the 2019 premier New Zealand single seater title which has added significance from 2019 offering FIA Super Licence points to the top finishers in the championship, with seven going to the series winner. It’s currently the only winter series globally offering Super Licence points.
The Castrol Toyota Racing Series is run in identical Toyota-powered Tatuus FT-50 chassis’ and runs over five weekends from January, with two races in New Zealand's South Island and three more in the North Island concluding with the New Zealand Grand Prix meeting at Manfeild Circuit Chris Amon in February, one of only two races outside of F1 officially recognised by the FIA as a Grand Prix.
2019 Castrol Toyota Racing Series
January 12-13 - Dorothy Smith Memorial Cup – Highlands Motorsport Park, Cromwell
January 19-20 - Spirit Of A Nation Trophy – Teretonga Park, Invercargill
January 26-27 - NZ Motor Cup – Hampton Downs Motorsport Park, Waikato
February 2-3 - Denny Hulme Trophy – Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park, Taupo
February 9-10 - New Zealand Grand Prix – Manfeild Circuit Chris Amon, Feilding