Joshua Bethune has withdrawn from the remaining two rounds of the Toyota Racing Series, reducing an already diluted field to just six cars for the season.
Bethune confirmed his exit to Velocity News this afternoon on the eve of the second round of the championship at Hampton Downs.
“We are not doing the rest of the series…we have pulled our entry for the remaining rounds,” Bethune said.
The 17-year-old was one of the youngest rookies on the grid in last weekend’s New Zealand Grand Prix, which was eventually won by Shane van Gisbergen.
A troubled weekend hurt by several mechanical gremlins meant Bethune could only manage a best finish of eighth, which came in race two.
The national Formula Ford runner-up was then able to salvage a 14th-place finish in the 28-lap Grand Prix.
Of what was then a seven-car full-time grid, Bethune was seventh in the standings but just four points adrift of Chris Vlok and nine points away from Peter Vodanovich.
This weekend the six-car field will have two races on the shorter 2.7km Hampton Downs national circuit.
Unique for the rest of the season is that all six drivers will receive engineering and driver support delivered directly by TOYOTA GAZOO Racing New Zealand to ensure each can further develop their skillset.
Round two will be held in conjunction with the annual Toyota Festival, that celebrates Toyotas of both old and new.
The Best Bars Toyota 86 Championship will also be racing this weekend.
2021 TRS Round 2 entry list:
- Matthew Payne
- Kaleb Ngatoa
- Billy Frazer
- Conrad Clark
- Peter Vodanovich
- Chris Vlok