American drivers on 2019 Castrol Toyota Racing Series radar
More North American based drivers are being sought for next summer’s Castrol Toyota Racing Series.
Series Manager Nicolas Caillol is about to head to race meetings at Road America and Mid-Ohio tracks on consecutive weekends to encourage drivers in the junior single seater classes – USF2000, Pro Mazda and Formula 4 – to consider racing in TRS in New Zealand next January and February.
“We’ve had a trickle of American based drivers race here over the years, starting with Michael Johnson in 2006,” said Caillol.
The highest profile has been Canadian Lance Stroll who won the 2015 TRS championship and is now a driver in the Williams Formula One team.
“With the number of drivers racing in various classes, there is certainly plenty of potential to attract more of them to TRS and the opportunity to get five weekends of racing before they start their northern hemisphere campaigns,” said Caillol.
While Scott Dixon attempts to extend his lead in the Indy series at Road America next Sunday – June 24 - Caillol will be concentrating on drivers competing in the USF2000 and Pro Mazda classes that support the main event.
The following weekend there is a round of the USA Formula 4 series at Mid-Ohio, where Gary Orton, who runs the Victory Motor Racing team in TRS runs Crosslink Kiwi Motorsport which currently leads the Formula 4 team championship.
A number of former TRS drivers have used the New Zealand racing to advance their careers in North America, with Jordan King who competed in 2012 now racing against Dixon in Indy cars, with Neil Alberico (2014), Alfonso Celis (2015) and Shelby Blackstock (2017) all driving in Indy Lights.
Nikita Lastochkin (2017) races in Pro Mazda, while Kory Enders (2017) and Calvin Ming (2018) are both tackling USF2000.
Santino Ferrucci who finished third to Stroll in 2015 is now in the Formula One Grand Prix supporting Formula 2 class, while Juan Manuel Correa, an Ecuadorian who did all his racing in the USA is now contesting GP3 events, which also support Formula One, after finishing fourth here last summer.
Caillol has already visited Australia to recruit drivers there and has established contacts in Europe where the bulk of the international drivers have come from in recent years.