TOYOTA GAZOO Racing New Zealand statement about the Toyota Racing Series
Yesterday it was reported by Velocity News that the Toyota Racing Series would not be travelling to the South Island for the 2021 season. This commentary was made by Speed Works Events, who is the summer motorsport series promoter, and does not represent the opinion of TOYOTA GAZOO Racing New Zealand and its Toyota Racing Series Championship.
Furthermore, all decisions around venues for the 2020/21 Race Championship series, support categories, the logistics and promotion of the series are made by Speed Works Events, and MotorSport New Zealand.
The statement also referenced that the Toyota Racing Series is set to be “based solely in the North Island, as part of a risk-management measure to reduce the possible impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic”; this is unsubstantiated.
“If the decision was made to hold the series solely in the North Island, this will be in order to reduce costs to make it affordable for more Kiwi drivers to participate in the series,” says Andrew Davis, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing New Zealand General Manager.
“The fundamental purpose of the Toyota Racing Series is to find NZ’s next world champion. TRS is a national championship and Toyota is a national organisation, so we are committed to taking the series right across New Zealand.”
“We will continue to support the circuits around the country including the South Island and want to reiterate if it is not possible to do so for the 2021 season, we will be back in 2022,” says Andrew.
For the 2021 season, consideration must be made for the possible impacts of COVID-19, this covers the ability for international drivers to participate under closed border conditions, and the economic impact it has had on potential Kiwi drivers’ abilities to compete as part of the grid.
As previously stated, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing New Zealand is working through an exemption plan for overseas drivers with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Enterprise (MBIE), the Department of Immigration and regional authorities. This is to ensure that we can offer the best championship possible for all competitors, with a full grid.
“We are committed to continuing the support of motorsport in New Zealand, as we have done so for the last 16 years through our TRS championship,” says Andrew. “However, to do this we need all motorsport enthusiasts to jump on board and continue to support local Kiwi motorsport as well.”
TOYOTA GAZOO Racing New Zealand is committed to working with its key stakeholders to ensure that they do what is best for New Zealand motorsport including the drivers and tracks. One of these key stakeholders is MotorSport New Zealand.
“We work closely with TOYOTA GAZOO Racing New Zealand to ensure that we are progressing open-wheeler motorsport in New Zealand,” says Wayne Christie, MotorSport New Zealand’s President.
“Unfortunately, the costs can be prohibitive for Kiwi drivers to enter the championship without sponsorships, and funds like the Kiwi Driver Fund. We are fully supportive of Toyota’s move to help reduce costs as much as possible for Kiwi drivers, especially given the current economic climate, and are continuing to work with both Speed Works Events and TOYOTA GAZOO Racing New Zealand to finalise the calendar for the 2020/2021 Race Championship season.”
There was also mention about the dates of the 2021 Toyota festival, these dates have not been confirmed yet.