Toyota Racing Series eyeing "normal" 2023 season

The Toyota Racing Series is confident it can host a "normal" campaign early next year having had to cancel its 2022 campaign due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Shane van Gisbergen

The open-wheeler series has been badly affected by pandemic, New Zealand's strict border policies making it impossible for overseas drivers to take part.

International talent is a cornerstone of the TRS, with European drivers traditionally using it as a winter training camp of sorts.

The likes of Formula 1 stars Lance Stroll and Lando Norris won TRS titles early in their respective careers.

Without international drivers the series has struggled.

For 2021 it was reduced to a single weekend built around the New Zealand Grand Prix, which was billed as a Kiwi All-Stars race.

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Supercars champion Shane van Gisbergen was the winner from the all-Kiwi field. For 2022, TRS organisers elected to can the series and the NZGP entirely.

The series is set to return next year, though, thanks to plans for NZ to open its borders to the world in October.

"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 and 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."

While the calendar is yet to be unveiled, it's expected there will be five rounds held over five consecutive weekends in January/February.


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