TRS success helps Liam get his wings
Confirmation on Monday evening that New Zealand Grand Prix winner and 2019 series champion Liam Lawson has joined the Red Bull Junior programme should encourage even more single seater drivers to consider the Castrol Toyota Racing Series as a ‘must do’ in their racing calendars.
That's the verdict of Category Manager Nico Caillol, who believes the series – which also offers Super Licence points to the top series finishers - has proven it is the best option in the world for the time of year it runs.
"The eyes of the motorsport world were on TRS in January and February and the quality and closeness of the racing was abundantly clear for anyone watching," he explained. "The challenge is the same for every driver and to stand out, let alone to win, is a clear indication of driver talent. That pure racing is what the series offers and it’s been fantastic for all of us involved to see it demonstrated with such clarity in 2019. We look forward to building on that next year with more of the best up and coming single seater drivers in the world, because in January and February they should be here with us.
"The Red Bull Junior selection is great news for Liam and we are delighted that his obvious talent has been recognised quickly by Red Bull. This was an extremely competitive and hard fought championship at all levels and the quality of the drivers across the board was one of the highest ever in our 15 years. Liam and Marcus Armstrong raised the game this year and provided a truly world class battle that every motorsport fan appreciated and enjoyed.
"With the Red Bull announcement Liam now has a solid career path ahead of him as does Marcus as a Ferrari Junior. It's very satisfying for us as a racing category to be able to provide a platform where drivers of this quality can showcase their huge talents and of course, with Liam and Marcus’ success, it fits in very nicely with our key objective of finding New Zealand's next world champion. We wish both the best of success for 2019.”
Lawson himself was quick to point out how important the TRS season was and is for any single seater driver. “TRS has prepared me for another season in Europe,” he said.
“Being a five week, back-to-back championship is perfect preparation. We’re getting huge seat time in a similar car to what I’ll drive in Europe against drivers who have more experience than me. I will be able to take everything we’ve learned over to Europe and I already have an advantage over those who haven’t done any off season driving.
“Joining the Red Bull Junior Team is the opportunity our management team have been working towards since we started getting serious. Now that we’ve got this opportunity we have to make the most of it and ensure we get everything we can out of it. We’ve got access to the Red Bull training facilities along with their vast wealth of knowledge, advice and contacts. I’ll be living in the UK and will be fully immersed in the Red Bull culture.”
Austria's Lucas Auer, who finished the Castrol Toyota Racing Series season strongly with a win in Taupo and pole position for the Grand Prix, was also confirmed for the global Red Bull programme, running for the team in the Japanese Super Formula Series where another former TRS champion Nick Cassidy, will also be racing in the works Toyota programme.