Chris Vlok says he expects to be a leading contender in this weekend’s New Zealand Grand Prix, mostly thanks to his international experience.
The South African-born Kiwi has an array of Formula 3 experience. His career in single-seaters spans over a decade. In that time he has competed in British F3 Open, Australian F3 and JK Racing Asia Series.
Back home, Vlok was a race winner in the South Island Formula Ford Championship and has previously competed in the Toyota Racing Series in 2012.
However, Vlok’s racing career has recently been on pause due to the demands of his day job – being the head of sports sponsorships for technology company Acronis.
Still, despite several years out of a race car, the 28-year-old is confident he will be helping to dictate the pace over the Grand Prix weekend.
“I’m expecting to be one of the front runners for the weekend,” Vlok told Velocity News.
“I haven’t raced a single-seater, or even a car for that matter, for a few years now. But I am confident in my skills and ability.
“I have always loved and risen to the challenge of learning new tracks and cars very quickly.
“Most of my international experience in Europe has been off the back of one-off races in new cars at new tracks with new teams, and we’ve always managed to perform when it counted. So, I am really excited to put this ability into action this weekend.”
While the Grand Prix features a star-studded line-up, including past winners and big-tier names, Vlok says it is the event’s competitive nature that energizes him.
“It’s certainly an epic line up; and although I am very excited to be racing these guys, it has nothing to do with their names or history. Instead, I am excited to be back running in what I know will be a competitive field on a global level.
“I am excited for the challenge that this creates for myself and I am certain it’s going to be a very close weekend performance wise. This always creates a great atmosphere for competition and forces you to be on your A-game.”
The New Zealand Grand Prix also acts as the opening round of this year’s Castrol Toyota Racing Series.
Vlok will be running in the full three-round series, which has its second round at Hampton Downs next weekend before concluding at Manfeild Circuit Chris Amon in February.
Main Image: TGRNZ