Marco Giltrap says he is pleased with the level of progress he has made in the early start to his Toyota 86 career, but the youngster is eyeing further success.
Giltrap made the promotion to the 86 championship with only two races of tin-tops under his belt.
Until the end of 2019, the 16-year-old was in karting, with a highlight being finishing second in the 2018 Auckland point series.
After a brief introduction to car racing in a BMW E30, Giltrap partnered Simon Evans for the two-round Toyota 86 endurance championship late last year.
The two are now teammates in the Sprint Series, which has its first round of the 2021 campaign this weekend at Hampton Downs.
A seventh and a fifth in his first two races has left the rookie relishing the start of his season, despite still having plenty of learning to do.
“It has been a good start, for sure,” Giltrap told Velocity News.
“I only had two races in a car before jumping into an 86, so it has been great that we are in the midpack. That is what we are aiming for each race.
“There are some things though that I need to work on. My starts haven’t been where I want them, and they are quite hard to get right.
“When I was in karts you could get away with a bit of contact when making moves and be just that bit more aggressive. But now I can’t, so my race craft has had to change.”
Guiding Giltrap over the season will be teammate Evans.
Evans has a wealth of touring car experience. He was won the national championship on three occasions and is the current Jaguar I-Pace eTrophy champion.
Giltrap believes his time spent with Evans this year will see him gradually improve to become a title-contender.
“Simon has been great,” Giltrap said. “He helped me a lot in the endurance races, getting on top of some of the trickier things.
“Having him as a teammate this year means we can go through data together after each session, seeing what I can do to get better.”
Asked whether a race win this season is on the cards, Giltrap remained hopeful.
“A podium is a goal for me to chase, but a win could happen if everything goes well.
“But for now, going for podiums and top-five places is the target.”
The Toyota 86 field will have one more race this weekend before round two, which will be held on the shorter Hampton Downs national circuit.