Smith, Walls, and Williams to represent Australia in Toyota Racing Series
Australians Thomas Smith, Jackson Walls, and Calan Williams will all begin their Castrol Toyota Racing Series (TRS) campaigns when the series opens this weekend in Cromwell, New Zealand.
The series, which celebrates its 15th year in 2019, comes with the added bonus this year of Super Licence points. The top five finishers will all gain points towards a Formula One FIA Super Licence, which is required to test or race Formula One cars. The TRS bills itself as “New Zealand’s premier single seater category”, and its timing at the start of the calendar year, coinciding with the European winter, means that it has proven a training ground for European F1 hopefuls, such as Lance Stroll, Daniil Kvyat, Lando Norris, and Brendon Hartley, who all went on to drive in F1.
Thomas Smith - #16
16 year-old Thomas Smith joins Giles Motorsport for his debut TRS season in 2019. The Melbournian had previously been runner-up in the Victorian State Cup (Karting) and the Victorian Kart Championship before his 2018 debuts in both New Zealand Formula Ford and Australian Formula 4. Smith tested a R-Tek Motorsport's Dallara F307 in late December to prepare for the TRS.
Smith told Highway F1, “I’m really excited for the opportunity to be able to compete in the 2019 TRS Season. It’s a great opportunity for me to learn off such world class drivers for 5 weeks straight. “
”My goals are to be able to learn as much as possible from the beginning and hopefully see a huge gain in my driving performance towards the end. Of course I would love to win but realistically it would be to learn as much as possible in the short period of time. “
Jackson Walls - #11
Jackson Walls also comes off his 2018 debut in Australian Formula 4 to compete in the TRS. The 15 year-old is officially too young to race the TRS car, and will only participate in testing during the first round until his birthday qualifies him for a full seat.
Walls said "there's going to be plenty to learn as I have only raced in New Zealand at Pukekohe when we visited at the end of the season for the ITM Auckland SuperSprint Supercars round, and other than that I have no experience on the New Zealand tracks”.
"The car looks fantastic and the series obviously does attract a significant selection of high quality drivers, so there will be a great deal that I can learn from the experience. I'll obviously be looking to make my mark though, to be competitive and to deploy what I can from my experience in Formula 4. It's going to be an exciting few weeks."
Calan Williams - #54
The 2017 Australian Formula 3 champion returns to the Southern Hemisphere for his attempt in the TRS. He spent 2018 competing in the Euroformula Open Winter Series and most recently the full Euroformula Open Series, where he achieved consistently competitive qualifying results and won championship points at Spa, Hungary, and Silverstone.
Williams said “I am very excited to be racing in TRS with MTEC Motorsport. Since meeting with team Manager Bruin Beasley in Monza this year, it has been clear to me that this would be an important part of my program for 2019.”
“TRS will benefit me massively due to the intense schedule, and the fierce competition it provides with many of the best young drivers from Europe and around the world.”
“Such experience is vital to being able to perform at the top in Europe, so I can’t wait for January to come and to start the year strongly in New Zealand. I am also really looking forward to racing in my first Grand Prix at Circuit Chris Amon.”
5 - TBC, mtec Motorsport
7 - Raoul Hyman, South Africa, Giles Motorsport
8 - Marcus Armstrong, New Zealand, M2 Competition
9 - Petr Ptacek, Czech Republic, Giles Motorsport
10 - Liam Lawson, New Zealand, M2 Competition
11 - Jackson Walls, Australia, mtec Competition
12 - Artem Petrov, Russia, M2 Competition
16 - Thomas Smith, Australia, Giles Motorsport
21 - Dev Gore, United States, Giles Motorsport
22 - Lucas Auer, Austria, M2 Competition
28 - Cameron Das, United States, M2 Competition
30 - Esteban Muth, Belgium, M2 Competition
36 - Kazuto Kotaka, Japan, mtec Motorsport
54 - Calan Williams, Australia, mtec Motorsport
66 - Parker Locke, United States, Victory Motor Racing
86 - Brendon Leitch, New Zealand, Victory Motor Racing
2019 Castrol Toyota Racing Series
January 12-13 - Dorothy Smith Memorial Cup – Highlands Motorsport Park, Cromwell
January 19-20 - Spirit Of A Nation Trophy – Teretonga Park, Invercargill
January 26-27 - NZ Motor Cup – Hampton Downs Motorsport Park, Waikato
February 2-3 - Denny Hulme Trophy – Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park, Taupo
February 9-10 - New Zealand Grand Prix – Manfeild Circuit Chris Amon, Feilding
Cover Image - Bruce Jenkins