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Driver comfort and safety enhanced with REAL Equipe TRS partnership

This season’s Toyota FT60 cars will be fitted with some of the best and safest racing seats in the world following confirmation that UK company Real Equipe will become Official Supplier Partners for the 2021 Castrol Toyota Racing Series.

The partnership will see REAL custom race seat kits fitted to the entire grid, ensuring every driver is properly positioned in the FT60 car. REAL is known throughout the UK and Europe, working with many manufacturers, teams and drivers in various championships including, F1, F2, F3, WEC, Formula E, Extreme E and DTM.

It’s a return to his motorsport roots for REAL managing director and founder, Vaughan Cartwright, who said: “The opportunity to showcase REAL systems with TOYOTA GAZOO Racing New Zealand is both professionally and personally very exciting.

“I grew up in New Zealand and cut my teeth as a mechanic in Formula Atlantic with Paul Radisich and Greg Murphy and to be now involved in the premier single seater category through REAL is especially rewarding.”

The change to the state of the art REAL custom seats is part of TGRNZ’s on-going development to provide its drivers with the most advanced and safest racing.

“We take a very analytical and process-driven approach to working with drivers to ensure their custom race seat provides optimum support, comfort and of course safety,” added Cartwright. “Aside from the steering wheel and pedals, the seat is what ‘connects’ a driver to the car, so it’s clearly obvious every aspect of what the seat must do is correct, ensuring drivers’ position, vision, feedback and control – thereby maximising driver confidence.

Chris van der Drift, who will race in the forthcoming New Zealand Grand Prix, is familiar with the REAL product having raced extensively in Europe. “It’s amazing how much difference the seat can make for a driver and having had REAL make my seats for some of my European race cars, it’s great to see them on board with TOYOTA GAZOO Racing here in New Zealand. Being properly positioned and supported really allows you as a driver to have real confidence in the car which of course, without doubt, improves your performance.”

Castrol Toyota Racing Series category manager Nicolas Caillol says that despite the global pandemic, and the on-going problems it has presented to motorsport at home and abroad, development on the new Toyota FT60 car has continued apace.

“We’re constantly trying to improve every aspect of the car and the Castrol TRS experience and this is one of course, that directly affects the driver. Comfort and safety for any driver are paramount and in REAL we believe we have the best solution available to us as we continue to improve our product.”

The 2021 Castrol Toyota Racing season will run over a shortened three weekend schedule. The earlier date for the New Zealand Grand Prix – which takes place on the international circuit at Hampton Downs Motorsport Park over the weekend of January 23rd and 24th – is designed to attract as many star name Kiwi racing drivers as possible, including former competitors and winners.

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