Aussie Porsche racer Tom McLennan joins 2023 TRS grid
Australian Tom McLennan will race for mtec Motorsport in the 2023 Castrol Toyota Racing Series, becoming the second Aussie so far to sign up for New Zealand’s first full international championship since the pandemic.
The 17 year old Brisbane racer has raced with success in both Formula Ford with CHE Racing and during the second half of the season in the Porsche Michelin Sprint Challenge with the McElrea Racing Team. This season has included two class wins in the Porsche – one on debut – and a top six finish overall in the Pro Class.
In 2021 he raced exclusively in Formula Ford in the regional Queensland series, chalking up a win and two further podium finishes in a competitive season.
Like many rising stars who compete in TRS, Tom has a background in karting but his first experience in motorsport was on two wheels in junior motocross. The Castrol TRS campaign will see him line up against acknowledged rising stars of the international single seater world in what are effectively Formula 3 level cars. It’s a challenge he is relishing.
“It’s awesome to get the chance to race in the Castrol Toyota Racing Series,” said McLennan. “It’s a great international series against drivers from all around the world racing at New Zealand’s finest tracks.
“I’ve been over for a test in one of the FT-60s and the cars are amazing. I’m really looking forward to the season. I’m racing with mtec Motorsport and it’s a great team. They have been there many years, they have heaps of experience and have seen many great drivers come through and go onto bigger things in their careers.
“The circuits that we race on in NZ are some of the best and I just love open wheel racing – that’s what has really attracted me to it. I did Formula Ford for a couple of years which I loved, but we have chosen to race the FT-60 because they are safe cars and you can have some awesome battles while racing.
“It’s one of the biggest open wheel series in the southern hemisphere. It has produced some great drivers like Lando Norris, Liam Lawson and Yuki Tsunoda, and they’ve gone onto great things in their careers. I really hope I can use the the Toyota Racing Series to improve myself.”
Mtec principal Bruin Beasley is delighted to be bringing a fellow countryman to NZ for a TRS campaign as well, adding: “Mtec is proud to have an Aussie as part of our campaign , Tom has shown that he has all the attributes needed to be competitive in TRS. He’s very level headed and his natural pace will put him in the mix come next January.”
Tom’s New Zealand season will begin in January when the TRS championship gets underway at the Highlands Motorsport Park in the South Island. The five weekend series visits four more tracks and will also include the New Zealand Grand Prix, one of only two events outside of F1 to be recognised as a Grand Prix event by world governing body the FIA.
The TRS championship is also notable for being the major single seater championship running in global motorsport during January and February and as such has attracted top names over the years from a variety of domestic junior formulae categories around the world.
It has produced more than 20 drivers who have officially tested or raced in Formula One, includes FIA Super Licence points and enjoys a massive international audience that includes all of the major F1 teams and junior programme ‘talent spotters.’