Lochlainn Fitzgerald-Symes will be racing an Audi RS3 LMS TCR in this year’s winner-takes-all TCR New Zealand event.
Fitzgerald-Symes is one of New Zealand’s most seasoned TCR drivers, having raced in the format since 2016. He has won class titles in both the North and South Island endurance series and a national crown.
He will be steering a third Track Tec Racing Audi alongside Greg Murphy and Chris van der Drift.
“Prior to working with Track Tec Racing, our team has always been very low key with Dad and our mates,” Fitzgerald-Symes said.
“Track Tec are awesome to work with and super professional but still allow me to be me, I like to fly under the radar and just do my thing on the track, their knowledge and technical skill has definitely improved my race craft.”
A respected endurance racer, next month’s sole event will allow Fitzgerald-Symes to test his sprint racing skills.
“I can’t wait to finally setup the car into sprint mode and not have to hold back.
“I love cars and I love racing and are definitely looking forward this years inaugural NZ TCR series, it should set the platform for TCR in NZ and in the future hopefully give many young drivers like myself another path to racing around the world, if the opportunity arises I would love to have a crack at the Australian TCR series later this year. “
Team principal Matt Waters was effusive in his praise of Fitzgerald-Symes.
“Lochie showed us he was fast and a quick learner in 2020 in the Audi during SIERDC,” Waters said.
“When on the pace, he has an aggressive driving style and is not afraid to go for a move, so we can’t wait to see what he’ll be like in the sprint format – the biggest challenge in the three-hour was slowing him down to save tyres.
“By turn two on lap one at the NZ Endurance Champs at Highlands, he had made up five places weaving through traffic like a pro.
“We know Highlands is one of Lochie’s favourite tracks and he has unfinished business here after an unfortunate incident with a faster car coming through the field at the NZ Championships ended their race.”
Just over one year to the day, Track Tec were caught in a messy case of confusion when the Australian Grand Prix was cancelled after one day of practice.
The Highlands-based team was the only international outfit on the grid but have not yet returned to the oversea racing scene.
However, the winning driver of this year’s TCR New Zealand title will get free entry into any remaining TCR Australia round.
“At Track Tec Racing, we see the TCR format as a way of connecting NZ motorsport talents with the world and vice versa,” Waters added.
“We can’t wait until the borders open and we can get back over to Australia to participate in their highly competitive series and also offer international drivers an opportunity to compete in TCR New Zealand. It’s crazy to think that a year ago we were sitting on the grid at the Melbourne F1 Grand Prix as the only international team to compete in the TCR Asia Pacific Cup when it was cancelled due to Covid and we haven’t been able to go back since.”
The Highlands Motorsport Park meeting will see three races over 23-24 April.