Chris van der Drift has been announced to drive an Audi TCR LMS RS3 for the inaugural Allied Petroleum TCR New Zealand Championship at Highlands Motorsport Park.
The Kiwi GT ace is now the fifth driver confirmed for the three-race title-deciding round over April 23-24.
The Audi van der Drift is driving will be prepared by Cromwell based outfit Track Tec Racing.
Surprisingly, this will be van der Drift’s first race meeting as a driver at the Highlands circuit.
“It will be the first time I have jumped into a front-wheel-drive race car,” van der Drift said.
“Highlands is also one of the tracks that I haven’t raced on. That doesn’t really matter because I am going there to win anyway.
“I’ve had plenty of experience with learning new tracks so far, so I don’t see that lack of track time at Highlands will be an issue.”
Van der Drift’s racing resume includes winning three European championships with Formula BMW, Formula Renault 2.0 and Formula Masters.
He has also successfully competed in A1GP, Superleague Formula and Formula Renault 3.5. He has also won the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia three times and the Lamborghini Super Trofeo Championship.
Since being compelled to stay in New Zealand amid the Covid-19 pandemic, van der Drift has remained busy in the racing scene. He recently took part in the New Zealand Grand Prix and established his own kartsport team.
He is now looking forward to his latest challenge in TCR.
“Normally I would be overseas, so it is really great to be able to race something in New Zealand. It should be quite a cool competition to be involved in.”
“It’s just fantastic to have such an experienced driver on the grid at Highlands,” said TCR category manager Lindsay Dodd.
“With the talent that we have been able to confirm for the round, we should see some tremendous racing.”
Alongside winning the New Zealand Touring Car Championship title, van der Drift has the opportunity to be rewarded a free entry to any of the remaining 2021 TCR Australia rounds.