International single-seater racing is expected to return to normal in 2023 TOYOTA GAZOO Racing New Zealand have announced.
News that the international borders will be open by October could mean that international drivers are able to return for the 2023 season.
Organisers are now deep in planning for what would be the first season with international drivers racing alongside local talent since the 2020 season, which saw Igor Fraga take the championship win ahead of Liam Lawson.
Organisers are hopeful the return of international drivers will see the grid return to the full 20 cars for all five rounds.
“The championship has been badly hit by the international COVID-19 travel restrictions but we can see light at the end of the tunnel for 2023 now,” said TGRNZ Motorsport, TRS Category & Operations Manager Nicolas Caillol.
“We are already talking to a large number of drivers, driver managers and teams and they are delighted to hear that the Castrol Toyota Racing Series is back on the international racing calendar and beyond.
“Our entire team has worked hard not only to maintain the cars through this dormant period, but to also continue to run our testing and development programme and to give a number of young Kiwis testing mileage in the car as they endeavour to further their single-seater racing careers abroad in very challenging times.”
The 2021 series saw Matthew Payne win the title in a shortened championship. With no international drivers able to take part, the NZ Grand Prix saw a variety of Kiwi talent racing, including Shane van Gisbergen who took the GP win, Greg Murphy, Andre Heimgartner, and Kenny Smith.
Picture Bruce Jenkins