NZGP to be standalone event in 2022
Friday 3rd September, 2021 - 3:49pm
The 2022 Castrol Toyota Racing Series will solely involve the New Zealand Grand Prix.
The 67th edition of the prestigious event will be held at Hampton Downs on February 11-13, with COVID-19 disruptions preventing any further TRS events from being scheduled.
“Ongoing COVID disruption has affected our ability to be able to bring in international drivers,” said Toyota Gazoo Racing New Zealand general manager Andrew Davis.
“It’s a shame that despite TRS being a key junior formulae championship in world motorsport with international recognition and even more interest than normal during this pandemic period, we once again have to focus only on a domestic event.”
Hopes instead are directed towards 2023 “when we hope and are confident that we will be much closer to a normal Castrol TRS season with the best young drivers from abroad taking on our young Kiwi talent”.
Shane van Gisbergen won the 2021 New Zealand Grand Prix.
That put him in elite company, with previous winners including Lando Norris, Lance Stroll, Earl Bamber, Fabian Coulthard, Greg Murphy, Keke Rosberg, Chris Amon, Sir Jackie Stewart, Graham Hill, Bruce McLaren, John Surtees, Stirling Moss and Sir Jack Brabham.
Meanwhile, in positive news, the 2021/22 New Zealand Toyota 86 Championship has announced its biggest ever calendar.
Six rounds will take place starting with a Hampton Downs season-opener on November 12-14 and finishing at Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park on March 25-27 next year.
Stops in between will come at Pukekohe Park Raceway, Highlands Motorsport Park, Mike Pero Motorsport Park and a second visit to Hampton Downs.
“We are one of only a very small amount of genuine national championships and everyone is delighted to be returning south after the challenges of the pandemic limited what we could do last season,” said category manager Geoff Short.
“We’ve never had more interest in the championship than we have right now and we may well end up with every available Toyota 86 on the grid from the first round at Hampton Downs.
“There are some amazing opportunities on offer this season to the most successful drivers, not least the Triple Eight Race Engineering Supercar test given by the Tony Quinn Foundation.
“We will announce the full prize pool imminently and we will begin rolling out our driver announcements as well. There are going to be some familiar faces in there as well as some very talented new racers.”