Callum Hedge back in single seaters for TRS championship challenge
One of New Zealand’s best motorsport prospects is the first Kiwi to commit to the 2023 Castrol Toyota Racing Series and he’s aiming to continue his winning ways.
Callum Hedge is well known to Australasian motorsport fans, having won the New Zealand Toyota 86 championship in 2018 and in more recent times made a stylish one-off return to the category to win the non-championship Supercars round in September. He was also round winner in the Australian Porsche Championship at the recent Gold Coast event at Surfers Paradise.
Still just eighteen years old, Hedge also has an impressive track record in single seaters, having won the New Zealand Formula Ford title back in 2017.
He’s also never finished outside of the top three in any karting championship he has competed in since he first took to the tracks in 2012 and has titles to his name in Cadets (2012 and 2013), Junior Rotax (2017) and Junior Yamaha (2017).
Hedge has tested both Toyota’s FT-50 TRS car and the current FT-60 and has been itching to have a full campaign in what will be the first full international Castrol TRS Championship since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.
Running with M2 Competition and having knowledge of all of the circuits in this coming season’s TRS calendar, he will start as one of the championship favourites and says he cannot wait to race with the best junior formulae drivers in the world.
“I’m really looking forward to having an attack on the 2023 TRS Championship, it’s been on our radar for a while but with COVID now finally being somewhat over in terms of restrictions it’s finally opened the door for me to compete,” said Hedge. “It’s going to be a big change from a Porsche 992 to the FT-60.
“Obviously the goal in everything is to be at the front and challenging for wins and podiums, but with TRS is also the experience and chance to develop your skills against the world’s best! I look forward to competing against a variety of drivers from across the world and lifting my game to try and compete at the front.
“I don’t often race in NZ so be to back home with my friends and family this summer and getting to do some racing at the same time is going to be a ton of fun.
“Single seaters are a much different driving style compared to what I have been racing this year in the 992 Cup Car. It’s about half the weight with a bit more aero and other cool bits which make it a great challenge and lots of fun to drive. I’ve learned a lot throughout 2022 and I’m going to put all of that into practice in the TRS Championship and adapt my driving style to extract as much as I can out of the FT-60! I can’t wait until kick off at Highlands in January.”
M2 Competition’s Mark Pilcher says Hedge is an exciting prospect for the championship, adding: “Callum has been on the radar for a few years and has always shown front running pace no matter what he drives. We look forward to unlocking more of his talent and seeing what can be done in 2023.”
After the series begins at Highlands, it heads to nearby Teretonga Park for Round Two a week later. It then heads to the North Island for consecutive weekends at Circuit Chris Amon – Manfeild, Hampton Downs International Motorsport Park and a final weekend at Taupo International Motorsport Park on February 10-12.
TRS has one of the best records in junior formulae for the proportion of its drivers over the years who have made it to Formula One or achieved other notable successes. Current F1 aces Lando Norris, Yuki Tsunoda, Nicolas Latifi, Lance Stroll and Guanyu Zhou have all raced in TRS. Norris and Stroll were both champions.