Toyota New Zealand has announced the launch of a Covid-19 support package of up to $500,000 to assist up and coming Kiwi single-seater drivers.
Managed by the Kiwi Driver Fund, the support package will help talented Kiwi racers land a drive in the Toyota Racing Series. The premier class has seen several of its champions gone on to contest in levels as high as Formula 1.
Four TRS graduates are currently on the F1 grid with a handful in both the FIA Formula 2 and 3 junior categories.
The driver’s fund will help steady the effects the Covid-19 pandemic has had on Kiwi drivers and keep the New Zealand driver pool afloat.
Both the TRS and Best Bars Toyota 86 Championship are expected to be incorporated in the fund. The fund is reserved for drivers without any previous full-season TRS experience.
“Competing in motorsport can cost upwards of $160,000, so many kiwi drivers need the extra financial boost that the Kiwi Driver Fund offers to be able to compete,” said Andrew Davis, Toyota New Zealand’s General Manager of Motorsport.
“It has been a year of both extreme and unique circumstances, and the upcoming motorsport season will be no different. We have looked at the best ways to reduce the 2021 season, and part of this includes funding support to drivers that can pull the majority of a budget together.
“Our aim is to develop a quality field for this season, and to have a new wave of Kiwi talent back in 2022 when we hope to return to a full and uninterrupted season.”
With international travel still up in the air, the next few seasons of the TRS may see some of the most competitive grids with plenty of Kiwi drivers.
A handful of young drivers have already tested both the old-gen FT50 and the current FT60 model, and Davis is happy with the pool of talent coming through the ranks.
“The kiwi motorsport talent that we see when testing continues to exceed our expectations.”
“We look forward to the upcoming season and seeing more kiwi drivers given the opportunity to compete.”
A five-round 2021 TRS calendar was unveiled earlier in the year with the opening round scheduled for January 22-24.