Following the announcement that karting champion Matthew Payne would be taking on the Payce Carrera Cup Australia series in 2021 with Earl Bamber Motorsport, it’s been confirmed that the 18-year-old will also race in the 2021 Castrol Toyota Racing Series.
Payne becomes the first driver to announce a full tilt at the series, with Bathurst 1000 champion Shane van Gisbergen and local legend Kenny Smith having recently been announced for the curtain-raising New Zealand Grand Prix event on January 23–24.
“TRS will give me valuable experience in a highly professional and competitive series,” Payne said.
“That’s experience I will take into Australia next year where I will race for Earl Bamber Motorsport with the support of Porsche New Zealand in the 2021 Porsche PAYCE Carrera Cup series. Next year’s going to be big for me and I can’t wait to get started with the TRS campaign on 22 January.
“Testing has gone well and I am starting to get the feel of the wings and slicks. There are only three rounds in the series so for the drivers there will be no time to ease into it. All I can say is that it will be all go right from the start, so it will be worth watching for sure.”
“Matthew truly represents what this series is all about. We are committed to finding the next New Zealand world champion and he is definitely part of that next wave of talent,” added category manager Nicolas Caillol.
Payne is coming off two season in Europe as a regular in its karting circuit, having finished 30th in the 2019 European FIA Karting Championship. Closer to home, meanwhile, he was also able to claim the 2019 Kartsport NZ National Sprint Championship.
The youngster has tested both the previous-generation Toyota FT-50 wings-and-slicks race car, as well as the more powerful turbocharged current FT-60 race car.
Following the aforementioned GP, the 2021 TRS circus will take on Hampton Downs Motorsport Park a second time on January 29–30, before traveling to Manfeild Circuit Chris Amon for the reduced-round series finale on February 12–14.