Juan Manuel Correa and Clement Novalak, two of the international drivers competing in the second round of the Castrol Toyota Racing Series at Teretonga this coming weekend are not quite what they appear.
Novalak is competing under the Union Jack of Great Britain, while Correa is flying the stars and stripes of the United States.
Originally from Quito, the capital of Ecuador, Correa has lived in Florida since 2010 and holds a passport from both countries but races with a United States issued competition license.
Novalak has a French father and his mother comes from Switzerland. Born in France, he grew up near Geneva in Switzerland, but once his karting ambitions stretched beyond the Swiss border it made more sense to base himself in England.
The 17-year-old has lived in London since 2014. “I was driving for the Tony team based there so it made sense to shift to England.” Like Correa he has a license issued by his adopted country, the United Kingdom.
Novalak won the WSK Super Masters Junior World Karting Title in 2015 and was the Senior champion last year. Last weekend was his single seater debut at Ruapuna, where he had some difficulty mastering the clutch standing starts.
Even so he lies fifth on the points table and is the leading rookie in the championship.
He is juggling school work with his burgeoning motor racing career and this year will be sitting British A levels, about the equivalent of Year 12/13 in New Zealand.
Eighteen-year-old Correa has given up on attending school but is continuing his education via the internet and admits to being a few months behind students of his age, which is hardly surprising given he has been racing Karts and more recently single seaters in Europe since 2014.
Correa says the move to the United States was for marketing and sponsorship reasons. “I still have some Ecuador investors and small sponsors, but the United States has more potential for big sponsors.”
He arrives at Teretonga ninth on the points table and is using the series as part of his preparation before his first season in the GP3 Series which is the curtain raiser to many of the European rounds of the Formula 1 Grand Prix World Championship.
The pair will have Thursday and Friday practice to get used to Teretonga track, the southernmost motor racing circuit in the world, before qualifying on Saturday morning, followed by an afternoon race and then two races on Sunday.
For further information please contact:
Mark Whittaker, Toyota New Zealand Motorsport Manager,
Phone (06) 350 3400 or 021 279 4012 or email firstname.lastname@example.org