Toyota Racing Series
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Toyota Racing Series
|Drivers' champion||Lando Norris|
The Toyota Racing Series is New Zealand's premier "open-wheeler" motorsport category. The Series includes races for every major trophy in New Zealand circuit racing including the New Zealand Motor Cup and the Denny Hulme Memorial Trophy. The cars are also the category for the New Zealand Grand Prix – one of only two races in the world with FIA approval to use the Grand Prix nomenclature outside Formula One.
|Headquarters||Mount Wellington, Auckland, New Zealand|
The Toyota Racing Series is an incubator and showcase for the next generation of New Zealand racing talent. The Series offers emerging drivers the chance to gain valuable experience with carbon-fibre composite chassis, aerodynamics and slick tyres.
The Series has the full endorsement of Motorsport New Zealand, the sport's governing body. The series is managed by Toyota Racing Management a company under the leadership of Barrie Thomlinson.
Previously, the country's leading drivers had to go offshore to step up to this level. High profile graduates from the series to date includes Brendon Hartley, now signed to race Formula Three for the respected Carlin Motorsport team in the UK and Earl Bamber.
For 2008, the series has also gone "green". Fuels for all cars racing in the series are now an E85 biofuel blend of 85 per cent ethanol made from whey, a dairy industry by-product; and petrol. Reduced emissions, reduced carbon "footprint" and reduced use of fossil fuels are all being showcased in this unique New Zealand programme. The 2008 New Zealand Grand Prix thus becomes the first ever biofuel grand prix in the world.
The short summer series (five weekends in five weeks, all in January and February) during the Southern Hemisphere summer has made the series attractive to drivers from the Northern Hemisphere, as the series takes place during the off-season. The 2015 season had a driver from Canada win the championship, and drivers from both Europe and the Americas actively participate in the series, as it allows them to develop their skills during the off-season.
The current championship consists of five rounds, each comprising three races, except Taupo which has four races. For 2016 the circuits are:
- Mike Pero Motorsport Park
- Teretonga Park
- Hampton Downs Motorsport Park
- Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park
- Manfeild Autocourse
Previously used circuits include:
The Toyota Racing Series run a Toyota Tatuus FT-50 with modified versions of 1.8L Toyota four cylinder 2ZZ-GE production engines which can produce 200BHP, a six speed Sadev sequential transmission with limited slip differential with a carbon fibre body and a Carbon monocoque chassis built by Tatuus in Italy to full FIA F3 specification. The cars use Michelin S308 tyres (Front 20x54x13, Rear 24x57x13) and weigh approximately 480 kg.
Each championship round consists of three races, one on Saturday afternoon, one on Sunday morning and the final on Sunday afternoon.