Toyota GAZOO Racing New Zealand announce new car for 2020 Toyota Racing Series
Toyota Racing New Zealand has today revealed both a new brand and a brand new car for the annual Toyota Racing Series (TRS). The new FT-60 firmly cements the TRS, which saw an epic battle between Liam Lawson and Marcus Armstrong in 2019, on the ‘third tier’ of the FIA Formula 1 ‘Pyramid’, on the same level as regional Formula 3 championships such as the FIA Formula Regional European Championship.
Toyota Racing NZ is now “Toyota GAZOO Racing New Zealand”, with the TRS to be run in the same format as 2019, with the new, more powerful car. It will run over five consecutive weekends in January and February, across New Zealand, before the series finale at the New Zealand Grand Prix, one of the only two events outside of Formula 1 officially permitted to use the phrase ‘Grand Prix’. The series winner will, as they did in 2019, receive up to seven Super Licence points towards possible Formula 1 careers.
The new car is the third chassis in the 15-year history of the series, upgraded with a ‘halo’ driver protection system and new wheel tethers. The car is heavier than the previous model and much more powerful, with a new 270 hp (200 kW), 2 litre, turbocharged, direct injection Toyota engine. The engine is a racing version of the 8AR FTS engine used in both Toyota and Lexus road cars. The new model will have significantly larger tyres and around 25% more downforce than the FT-50.
Series Manager Nicolas Caillol said:
"The FT-60 is a modern car that packs increased power and more downforce than anything we have had before in the series."
"It is a globally relevant car and a globally relevant championship for any serious young racing driver and we hope to attract even more up and coming stars looking to make a step up in their career. They could be from Formula 4, from Formula 3, from the all women W Series or from other Tier 3 categories in the FIA ladder. It is even relevant for those who have been successful in Tier 2 categories looking to consolidate and sharpen their skills, or gain more Super Licence points, on their final push towards F1.”
“Our championship also offers what we believe to be the best value for money of all global junior formulae in terms of track time per dollar. That’s an important consideration for any driver and team these days and we have put that at the forefront of our championship offering. Add to that of course, five challenging and contrasting tracks and a five week adventure in New Zealand."
All images by Bruce Jenkins.