Cromwell-based team Track Tec Racing have launched their latest initiative – Accelerate to the Podium – aimed at nurturing aspiring Kiwi single-seater racers with the opportunity to race in the internationally renowned Toyota Racing Series.
Partnering with reigning TRS champions M2 Competition, Track Tec Racing will field cars in both the NZ Formula First and Formula Ford championships (main image) next season as a springboard for drivers to land a drive with M2 on the international racing scene.
Boasting an unprecedented six drivers’ championships, M2 Competition have fielded an array of household names in TRS including F1 drivers Lando Norris and Lance Stroll, and Super GT and Super Formula Champion Nick Cassidy. More recently, FIA F3 pilot Liam Lawson also landed a title with the team in 2019.
Track Tec were slated to contest the upcoming TCR Australia Series with a two-car outfit but have been stuck grounded following the global pandemic.
A blessing in disguise, the team’s stalled TCR plans have instead given way for the emergence of Accelerate to the Podium with the intention of the programme to be a long-term project to encourage more Kiwi drivers in TRS and beyond.
“Formula First and Formula Ford are the natural feeder series’ for the Castrol Toyota Racing Series,” said TRS Category Manager Nicolas Caillol.
“Big names of New Zealand motorsport such as Mitch Evans, Nick Cassidy, Marcus Armstrong and Liam Lawson progressed through those development series’ before winning races and titles in TRS.
“We are supportive of the programme as our main aim is to develop the next generation of New Zealand champions.”
A number of promising drivers in New Zealand’s junior formulae often run into trouble raising sufficient funds for their next career targets, which for most centre around the country’s premier single seater category.
The Accelerate to the Podium concept is hoped to collapse some of these barriers and create a more viable transition platform from Formula Ford to TRS.
Alongside racing, the programme will include media training, mechanical aptitude and dedicated simulator work to further strengthen the abilities of New Zealand’s rising open-wheel stars.
“I’m really excited to be back racing single-seaters again and can’t wait to help young kiwis be prepared for what NZ racing holds and Motorsport around the world,” said Track Tec Racing Team boss Matt Waters.
The first crop of racers in the programme are set to be confirmed shortly.
Calendars for both the 2020/21 NZ Formula First and Formula Ford season are yet to be announced while next year’s Toyota Racing Series is set to kick off on January 22-24 at a yet-to-be-determined venue.