MOTORSPORT

Toyota Racing Series announces revised series calendar

Saturday 11 October 2008, 6:30PM
By Toyota Racing Series
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CANTERBURY

Premier single seaters will race at every New Zealand circuit.

A revised schedule for the Toyota Racing Series for 2008/09 has been announced.

The Toyota Racing Series will now begin at Ruapuna on November 28-30 and the six-meeting TRS Championship series will finish at Pukekohe on March 20-22.

Though the final round had been provisionally scheduled on the MotorSport New Zealand calendar for the new Hampton Downs Circuit, MSNZ announced late last week that due to poor weather conditions over the winter the new International circuit will not be ready in time to host this meeting.

“The revised MSNZ calendar places Pukekohe meetings at either end of the season and we have taken the opportunity to reduce the championship by one round. We are committed to a nation-wide championship and we provide our drivers a level playing field,” said TRS Category Manager Barrie Thomlinson.

“We have now achieved a more balanced calendar with sensible travel logistics – three races in the South Island followed by three races in the North Island; and a TRS season culminating in the non-championship races on the street of Hamilton on April 17-19.”

Mr Thomlinson said many motor racing categories around the world are considering options for cost containment during these times of global economic uncertainty.

“Reducing our 2008-2009 calendar by one meeting is a practical response to this situation. The calendar is now more compact while still taking in every New Zealand circuit, which is important for fans and drivers alike,” he said.

Thomlinson says overseas interest in the three International meetings in January at Timaru, Teretonga and A1GP Taupo is stronger than ever and he believes this is because TRS offers drivers fantastic value for money in a very competitive environment

“With our dollar weakening it is getting more attractive by the minute.”

“The outlook for TRS is very positive and we will continue to see fantastic racing this season with new stars emerging to follow in the footsteps of TRS graduates like Earl Bamber who had a stunning A1GP debut drive at Zandvoort for A1 Team NZ. Already, we have confirmation of two talented young British drivers who will compete here in January with more international entries expected to follow.”

TRS drivers will compete in 18 races during the Championship season and will develop their skills in equal equipment and still gain experience at every one of New Zealand’s current circuits.