The Toyota Racing Series will go ahead next January, but with a revised three-round schedule.
The New Zealand series announced a five-round calendar, circuits pending, back in late July, along with intentions to source border exemptions for overseas drivers wanting to take part.
However the schedule has now been cut back to three rounds, all on the North Island, with a double-header at Hampton Downs on January 22-24 and 28-30, followed by a finale at Manfeild on February 12-14.
One of those events will become take on New Zealand Grand Prix status, with plans for a New Zealand All Stars theme with as many former TRS champions and local legends as possible.
“It’s great to be able to pull the final pieces of the MotorSport New Zealand Summer Series together in announcing the TRS dates,” said acting MotorSport New Zealand CEO Elton Goonan.
“TRS has been a key step in the motorsport ladder for many young drivers since its inception so with such an unusual year, we’re happy to be able to finally confirm the dates. With the focus on local drivers in 2021, we’re going to see some of NZ’s best young drivers take to the track hoping to follow in the footsteps of some of New Zealand’s superstar drivers.”
The door is still ajar for overseas drivers too, Toyota Gazoo Racing New Zealand general manager Andrew Davis confirming talks are ongoing with immigration officials.
“We have been advised that the government’s decision on international drivers will take place before the end of November as we have considerable interest in the series this season,” he said.
“The economic contribution of visiting drivers, teams and support members is important to the viability of TRS and the New Zealand motorsport and wider economy, so we will continue to work to enable international participation where possible.”
TRS category manager Nicolas Caillol also confirmed that the shortened schedule will feature longer races.
“Drivers competing will still enjoy the benefits of a compact four-week, three weekend campaign with exceptional track time” he explained.
“Three 30-minute practices, a practice start session, and two 15-minute qualifying session will still be part of the format for the weekend.
“The race distances have been increased from 50 kilometres and 70 kilometres to 70 kilometres and 80 kilometres respectively.
“Two testing days would also be offered to overseas drivers between Rounds 2 and 3 which will keep a high level of overall mileage over the season, another great incentive to come and race in New Zealand.”
2021 Toyota Racing Series calendar
|1||Hampton Downs||January 22-24|
|2||Hampton Downs||January 28-30|
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