The Tony Quinn Foundation is offering two young Kiwi drivers the opportunity to compete in either the Toyota Racing Series or Toyota 86 championship.
The ‘TQ Foundation Shootouts’ will occur at Hampton Downs at the end of the year.
One shootout will be in a Toyota 86 and another, held on a separate day, will be in a Toyota Racing Series car.
Six promising New Zealand talents who take part in any of the Hampton Downs NZ Racing Academy programmes in 2021 will be eligible for the shootout selection.
Their invitation to the shootout will be based on their performances on the track during the academy programme.
Drivers will compete against one another in a series of timed challenges, testing all aspects of their driver skill.
The news comes fresh off the announcement of the launching of Tony Quinn Foundation, which aims to support budding Kiwis into international careers.
The judging panel at each shootout consists of the foundation’s trustees Greg Murphy, Steve Horne, Tony Quinn and Daniel Gaunt.
The winning two drivers of the shootouts will walk away with funding towards a full season in the Toyota 86 Championship or Castrol Toyota Racing Series (TRS).
The Tony Quinn Foundation will contribute $30,000 to the winner of the Toyota 86 shootout and $70,000 to the winner of the TRS scholarship to go towards funding a season in the respective championships.
“Toyota’s involvement in motorsport in New Zealand is focused on finding New Zealand’s next world champions,” Marketing Manager for Toyota New Zealand, Andrew Davis said.
“The TRS and Toyota 86 Championship have been a proving ground for lots of young Kiwi drivers including Liam Lawson, Callum Hedge, Marcus Armstrong, Mitch Evans, Nick Cassidy and Daniel Gaunt.
“They’re a proven pathway for young drivers and it gives Kiwis an opportunity to test themselves against the best young drivers in the world for a much lower budget than heading overseas.
“Aligning ourselves with the Hampton Downs NZ Racing Academy, the Tony Quinn Foundation and this new scholarship fits with our aim to get more Kiwi drivers involved in the sport and onto the world stage.”
As well as funding, the winners will be able to draw on the knowledge and contacts of the foundation trustees who all have considerable experience of the motorsport industry in New Zealand, Australia, the US, Europe and Asia.
“We’ve hand picked our trustees for their experience, commitment and passion for the sport,” Chief Executive Officer of Highlands and Hampton Downs Motorsport Parks, Josie Spillane said.
“The aim of the foundation is to build a hub for Kiwi motorsport that connects the talent in this country to the global kiwi motorsport community.
“We see it as a place to identify up and coming talent and then work out a pathway to support them into a motorsport career.
“Partnering with Toyota makes a lot of sense because we see Toyota as a key stakeholder in the future of motorsport and their ongoing investment is critical to the growth of NZ motorsport both domestically and globally.”
The Foundation is already committing over $200,000 to scholarships and categories for emerging talent and will also consider further support for any Kiwi that finishes in the top three in the Castrol Toyota Racing Series and Toyota 86 Championship.
Quinn emphasised the primary intention of his foundation is for the benefit of Kiwi drivers.
“We’re not reinventing the wheel with this foundation and scholarship,” says Tony Quinn.
“The Kiwi Driver Fund and individuals like Sir Colin Giltrap and his sons Richard and
Michael, Kenny Smith, Peter ‘PJ’ Johnson, and many others, have been supporting Kiwi drivers for a long time and I want to continue to build on the great work they’ve done.
“Young Kiwi drivers seem to have this incredible ability to get the most out of a race car and I want to help develop the next generation of talent.”
The Toyota 86 Scholarship Shootout will be held on September 21 at Hampton while the Toyota Racing Series Scholarship Shootout will be contested on November 9.