Preview: 2017 Toyota Racing Series

Preview: 2017 Toyota Racing Series

9 January 2017 – After weeks of few motorsport events, 2017 kicks off with the New Zealand-based Toyota Racing Series, which has steadily grown in recent years. GPUpdate.net previews this year's five-round competition.

Launched back in 2005, with full support from the country's governing body, the Toyota Racing Series (TRS) is New Zealand's primary single-seater category, and offers a platform for upcoming drivers.

17 of the 18 runners in the inaugural TRS campaign were from New Zealand, with Brent Collins beating Andy Knight to the championship – Monegasque racer Walter Grubmüller was the odd man out.

Brendon Hartley, who classified fourth, would become the most famous name, making several Formula 1 test outings and winning the 2015 World Endurance Championship title with Mark Webber and Timo Bernhard, while Daniel Gaunt and Chris Pither went on to race in V8 Supercars, and Wade Cunningham appeared in the IndyCar series.

Over the years, drivers from around the world were attracted; in 2011, Russia's Daniil Kvyat took part, while in 2012, New Zealanders were in the minority for the first time, as Britain's Jordan King, Italy's Raffaele Marciello and France's Nathanaël Berthon, among others, made the journey.

In 2014, Singapore's Andrew Tang became the first 'foreign' TRS champion, followed by Canadian Lance Stroll, now preparing for his debut F1 season with Williams, and British youngster Lando Norris.

2017 season entrants, machinery

20 drivers have signed up for the 2017 TRS season, with only three representing New Zealand.

Several Formula 1 teams have sent young drivers; Red Bull will be represented by Richard Verschoor, who won last year's SMP and Spanish Formula 4 championships, and Luis Leeds, who was third in British Formula 4; Marcus Armstrong recently joined the Ferrari Driver Academy; while Jehan Daruvala is backed by Force India.

Norris, who claimed last year's TRS crown, before tasting success in Formula Renault 2.0, will not be taking part, after withdrawing his entry to focus on a European Formula 3 title assault.

However, second to fifth in the 2016 standings will get another crack, with Daruvala, Brendon Leitch, Ferdinand Habsburg and Pedro Piquet, the son of triple Formula 1 champion Nelson, all confirmed.

Piquet was a contender until a poor final round 12 months ago, and is a favourite for 2017.

Drivers will race the same machinery: a Toyota FT-50, featuring a carbon fibre chassis, fitted with a 1.8-litre, four-cylinder engine, Michelin tyres and Brembo brakes – all in, it weighs around 550kg.

TRS also leads the way in using specialist E85 fuel, made up of 85 per cent ethanol.

2017 calendar, points system

In 2017, the TRS will take place over five straight weekends from mid-January to mid-February.

Mike Pero Motorsport Park (Christchurch) hosts the season opener, which runs from January 13-15, followed by Teretonga Park (Invercargill), Hampton Downs Motorsport Park (Waikato), Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park (Taupo) and Circuit Chris Amon (Feilding), the final round of the 2017 series taking place from February 11-12.

Big points are on offer in each race, the winner taking 75, P2 taking 67 and P3 taking 60; after this, the scores are: 54, 49, 45, 42, 39, 36, 33, 30, 28... down to 12 for 20th, if all drivers finish.

All race weekends comprise three races; one on Saturday and two on Sunday – 15 overall.

Prior to the first race, a two-part qualifying takes place; the first phase determines the grid for race one, the second for race three. Race two's grid features a 'reverse' of the top finishers in race one.

related

Comments

Latest News
Full
Compact

  1. Tuesday 25 April 2017

  2. F1 to focus on 'shield' system for 2018 20:13

    F1 to focus on 'shield' system for 2018

    Formula 1 is to favour a 'shield' head protection device for the 2018 season, rather than the previously proposed 'halo' system…

    F1
  3. 17:02

    Follow GPUpdate on Instagram in 2017!

    F1
  4. Pérez: Force India has taken opportunities 15:47

    Pérez: Force India has taken opportunities

    Sergio Pérez has praised Force India for taking its chances in the early rounds of the 2017 season, enough to put the team at…

    F1
  5. Sirotkin to get practice run in Russia 14:15

    Sirotkin to get practice run in Russia

    Renault reserve driver Sergey Sirotkin will make his first practice outing of the season at his home Grand Prix in Russia, the…

    F1
  6. Pirelli expecting one-stop Russian GP 13:30

    Pirelli expecting one-stop Russian GP

    Formula 1 tyre supplier Pirelli is expecting this weekend's Russian Grand Prix to be a one-stop race, given the "low-severity…

    F1
  7. Video: Michelin's all-weather FE tyres 12:04

    Video: Michelin's all-weather FE tyres

    Formula E provides an insight into the technology behind Michelin's all-weather tyres.

    FE
  8. Lorenzo: Front tyre graining hid step 11:12

    Lorenzo: Front tyre graining hid step

    Ducati's Jorge Lorenzo is adamant that he made another "step forward" at the Grand Prix of the Americas, pinning his late slump…

    MotoGP
  9. Newgarden hails 'fluid' Penske integration 09:53

    Newgarden hails 'fluid' Penske integration

    Josef Newgarden has praised Penske for its efforts to help him integrate over the off-season, after he claimed his first victory…

    Indy
  10. Video: Alonso's Alabama IndyCar visit 09:03

    Video: Alonso's Alabama IndyCar visit

    Follow Fernando Alonso as he tours the IndyCar paddock at the Barber Motorsports Park.

    F1
  11. Alonso targets two-car McLaren finish 07:32

    Alonso targets two-car McLaren finish

    Fernando Alonso hopes that McLaren-Honda will be able to record a two-car finish at this weekend's Russian Grand Prix, after a…

    F1
  12. Video of the Day: Kvyat 360° Sochi lap 05:36

    Video of the Day: Kvyat 360° Sochi lap

    Toro Rosso's Daniil Kvyat takes you on a virtual 360° lap of Sochi Autodrom ahead of the Russian GP.

    F1
  13. Monday 24 April 2017

  14. Video: Alonso press conference at Barber 16:04

    Video: Alonso press conference at Barber

    Watch as Fernando Alonso fields questions about his upcoming attempt at the Indianapolis 500.

    F1
  15. In photos: Alonso visits IndyCar paddock 12:35

    In photos: Alonso visits IndyCar paddock

    Fernando Alonso attended last weekend's Grand Prix of Alabama as part of his preparations for an assault on the Indianapolis 500…

    F1
  16. Video: Performing a perfect FE pit-stop 12:02

    Video: Performing a perfect FE pit-stop

    Venturi driver Maro Engel talks through the key elements to pull off a perfect Formula E pit-stop.

    FE
  17. Viñales vows to return 'stronger' after crash 11:12

    Viñales vows to return 'stronger' after crash

    Maverick Viñales says he will quickly put his crash at the Grand Prix of the Americas to the back of his mind and return…

    MotoGP
  18. Venturi calls up Dillmann for Paris ePrix 10:20

    Venturi calls up Dillmann for Paris ePrix

    Tom Dillmann will make his Formula E debut with Venturi in next month's Paris ePrix. Dillmann, who won the Formula V8 3.5…

    FE
  19. Rossi's 2017 title lead 'a great surprise' 10:02

    Rossi's 2017 title lead 'a great surprise'

    Valentino Rossi says it comes as "a great surprise" to himself and Yamaha that he leads the MotoGP title race after the first…

    MotoGP
  20. Video: IndyCar GP of Alabama highlights 09:32

    Video: IndyCar GP of Alabama highlights

    Watch highlights of Sunday's IndyCar Grand Prix of Alabama at the Barber Motorsports Park.

    Indy
  21. Márquez 'back' in title race with Austin win 09:16

    Márquez 'back' in title race with Austin win

    Repsol Honda rider Marc Márquez says he is "back in the championship" fight after his victory at the Grand Prix of the Americas…

    MotoGP
  22. Video of the Day: Prema's 'Guess the song' 05:24

    Video of the Day: Prema's 'Guess the song'

    Prema Formula 2 drivers Charles Leclerc and Antonio Fuoco, along with Formula 4 pair Juri Vips and Juan Manuel Correa, challenge…

    F2
  23. 03:10

    MotoGP standings after GP of the Americas

    MotoGP
  24. Sunday 23 April 2017

  25. 22:50

    Latest IndyCar photos: Sunday at Barber

    Indy
  26. Newgarden wins after Power's puncture 22:48

    Newgarden wins after Power's puncture

    Josef Newgarden won for the first time as a Penske driver, holding off Scott Dixon at the Grand Prix of Alabama after race…

    Indy
  27. 21:10

    Latest MotoGP photos: Sunday at Austin

    MotoGP
  28. 21:07

    In full: GP of the Americas race results

    MotoGP
  29. Márquez takes fifth straight Austin victory 20:53

    Márquez takes fifth straight Austin victory

    Reigning World Champion Marc Márquez preserved his perfect record at the Circuit of the Americas as he claimed victory, while…

    MotoGP
  30. 19:00

    Starting grid for the GP of the Americas

    MotoGP
  31. Video: Super Formula Suzuka highlights 13:59

    Video: Super Formula Suzuka highlights

    Watch race highlights from Sunday's opening round of the 2017 Super Formula season at Suzuka.

    SF
  32. Nakajima wins race, Gasly top rookie 13:23

    Nakajima wins race, Gasly top rookie

    Former Formula 1 driver Kazuki Nakajima triumphed at the opening Super Formula round of the season at Suzuka as Red Bull reserve…

    SF
  33. Lorenzo pleased to confirm 'good feeling' 13:06

    Lorenzo pleased to confirm 'good feeling'

    Jorge Lorenzo says he was lifted by confirming the "good feeling" he developed at the preceding round in Argentina, as he…

    MotoGP
  34. Video: GP of Alabama qualifying highlights 10:56

    Video: GP of Alabama qualifying highlights

    Watch highlights from Saturday's track action for the Grand Prix of Alabama at the Barber Motorsports Park.

    Indy
  35. Márquez 'didn't expect' Austin pole position 09:24

    Márquez 'didn't expect' Austin pole position

    Marc Márquez says he "didn't expect" to claim pole position for the Grand Prix of the Americas, having struggled across the…

    MotoGP
  36. Video of the Day: Verstappen photobombs fans 05:34

    Video of the Day: Verstappen photobombs fans

    Red Bull Formula 1 driver Max Verstappen surprises customers at a supermarket in his native Netherlands...

    F1
  37. Saturday 22 April 2017

  38. 23:16

    Latest IndyCar photos: Saturday at Barber

    Indy
  39. Power leads Penske trio in Barber qualifying 23:12

    Power leads Penske trio in Barber qualifying

    Will Power led a Penske/Chevy 1–2–3 in qualifying at Barber Motorsports Park on Saturday, earning the 46th pole of his…

    Indy
  40. 21:34

    Latest MotoGP photos: Saturday at Austin

    MotoGP
  41. Injured Rins to fly home for wrist surgery 21:33

    Injured Rins to fly home for wrist surgery

    Suzuki rider Álex Rins will undergo surgery in his native Spain, after fracturing his left wrist, with no time frame yet placed…

    MotoGP
  42. Márquez beats Viñales in qualifying thriller 21:00

    Márquez beats Viñales in qualifying thriller

    Reigning World Champion Marc Márquez maintained his unbeaten record at the Circuit of the Americas after prevailing in a…

    MotoGP
  43. Avintia continues with Ducati for 2018 20:14

    Avintia continues with Ducati for 2018

    Avintia has renewed its contract as a customer Ducati squad, with both of its riders set to use the Italian manufacturer's 2017…

    MotoGP
  44. Viñales heads crash-filled COTA FP3 17:14

    Viñales heads crash-filled COTA FP3

    Championship leader Maverick Viñales returned to the top of the leaderboard for Yamaha during a crash-strewn third practice…

    MotoGP
more news