Marcus Armstrong announces TRS return

Marcus Armstrong pic: Veritas Communications

Marcus Armstrong has announced that he will contest another season of the Toyota Racing Series in 2019 after last year’s agonising near-miss.

Armstrong took the series lead into the season-ending New Zealand Grand Prix at Manfeild and was sitting pretty with a comfortable second position on the road in the latter laps.

However, a Safety Car closed the field up before a hasty restart with a lap remaining, at which time Armstrong bogged down and lost multiple positions.

The Christchurch native fell to third in the standings, a loss he wants to put right this time around.

“I’m here to drive and I enjoy all the circuits here in New Zealand. I want to make good on last year’s last lap loss,” he said.

His father Rick added, “This is likely to be the last time we get to see Marcus racing in New Zealand over the five weekends of the summer series, so it’s great for him to be able to put on a show for race fans and friends here.

“We are very proud to have him in the Auckland City Toyota/Armstrong Motor Group car.”

The 18-year-old will race with M2 Competition in TRS for a third straight season, putting him in the same team as former DTM driver Lucas Auer and another speedy New Zealander in Liam Lawson.

Armstrong returns home off the back of finishing fifth in the final FIA Formula 3 European Championship, and will remain with Prema Racing for that series’ successor, the FIA Formula 3 Championship, in 2019.

“I like TRS,” he added.

“The cars are physically easier to drive than F3.

“There are less set-up adjustments possible so it’s a case of going out and driving the car. Every team and driver has the same opportunity.

“(Clement) Novalak last year was very good with the Giles team, and Thomas Randle won the title in 2017 with Victory, so it puts emphasis on the driver.”

The 2019 Toyota Racing Series starts at Highlands Motorsport Park on January 12-13.

Toyota Racing Series 2019 teams and drivers so far

Driver Nat Team
Dev Gore USA Giles Motorsport
Raoul Hyman RSA Giles Motorsport
Petr Ptacek Jnr CZE Giles Motorsport
Thomas Smith AUS Giles Motorsport
Marcus Armstrong NZL M2 Competition
Lucas Auer AUT M2 Competition
Cameron Das USA M2 Competition
Liam Lawson NZL M2 Competition
Esteban Muth GER M2 Competition
Artem Petrov RUS M2 Competition
Kazuto Kotaka JPN mtec Motorsport
Jackson Walls AUS mtec Motorsport
Calan Williams AUS mtec Motorsport
Brendon Leitch NZL Victory Motor Racing
Parker Locke USA Victory Motor Racing

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