Given the Castrol Toyota Racing Series’ reliance on overseas talent, one might consider the category to be in some jeopardy in the midst of the global Covid-19 pandemic.
However, overseas interest levels in the category are actually as healthy as ever. VelocityNews understands that almost 50 expressions of interest from all over the world have been made by racers wanting to be on the grid for 2021.
The Toyota Racing Series has the curious honour of being one of the only open-wheel junior championships to have completed its series in full in 2020 — the closure of its final round in February coming before sweeping international Covid-19 regulative measures put the world’s racing on hold.
New Zealand’s positive Covid-19 position — with low case count, low community outbreak, and no lockdowns and reduced social distancing policy — means the Toyota Racing Series is particularly attractive to drivers wanting to gain points towards their FIA Super License.
“New Zealand, and it’s pretty logical with any sport, is seen as a sanctuary around the world,” Speed Works Managing Director Geoff Short told VelocityNews.
“A lot of junior formulas haven’t been able to do a full calendar. To come to New Zealand and quarantine for a few weeks to do five weeks of racing is a pretty good appeal for anybody on a career path.”
It’s understood that the series has placed an application with the New Zealand to enable drivers and racing crew from overseas to travel here for the 2021 series.
As it stands, those drivers and crew will have to be placed in mandatory quarantine upon their arrival. But, this may change over the coming months as countries around the world continue to deal with the virus.