Billy Frazer says if everything falls into place over the coming months, then we can expect to see him on the Toyota Racing Series grid next year.
The defending ITM New Zealand Formula Ford champion has been regularly testing in an old-gen FT50 TRS car between seasons. He was also fortunate enough to receive an official test in a current FT60 model as a prize for winning the Formula Ford championship.
The 18-year-old will now gear up for his first race meeting in an FT50 this weekend at Hampton Downs for the opening round of the Formula Open championship.
Frazer will be up against a sizable grid of pre-2015 wings and slicks cars which include FT50s, FT40s, Formula 3s and Swift DB4 Formula Atlantics.
But it is the opportunity to race his FT50 in anger that Frazer is relishing as he closes in on landing a drive in the championship.
“TRS is the aim and it has been my goal since I started karting,” Frazer told Velocity News.
“If everything falls into place you can expect me on the TRS grid. I still need to keep getting my name out there and sorting out the financial side, but I feel like I am at the last step to reach my goal.
“I have also been building up the mileage to get used to the car so I can be in the series next year.”
Now in its 49th season, Frazer is the reigning NZ Formula Ford champion, and he says the value of the Formula Ford class is important for honing the skills a driver needs to compete at their best on the international stage.
“I think Formula Ford has been a great help in the jump to TRS. There is about an eight-second difference in lap speed at Hampton Downs [between the Formula Ford and FT50]. Still, Formula Ford has taught me the fundamentals.
“The series allowed me to learn the basics with mechanical grip but also setup changes and learning all the new tracks. I think being with Speedworks and TRS in the last three rounds and that week-in-week-out racing programme helped.
“The big difference is the higher mid-corner speed in the TRS car. All of the aero from the car puts a real emphasis on driver physicality, so there has been a lot of weight training in preparing for that.
“The top-end speed between the TRS and Formula Ford is quite similar, but all the technology and aerodynamic grip is so impressive. You can brake so much later, and the tyres are a lot grippier.”
Ahead of this weekend’s race meeting, Frazer says he is coming in with no real expectations and instead is taking it as a learning opportunity.
“I have never done class racing like this before so it will be exciting,” he added. “Some impressive drivers and cars are entering, so it will be cool to see how they all do.
“It will be a great place to keep learning everything so I can reach the goal.
“TRS is the aim. I want to be on that grid next year.”