There is no doubt that the Toyota Racing Series (TRS) is New Zealand’s premier single seat racing series.
As there is effectively nothing in Australia to compare it with, it is the premier single seat racing series in Australasia and there are now names in Formula 1 or on the threshold of the big time who have come through the TRS at some point.
Current Red Bull F1 driver Daniil Kvyat and Manor Marussia driver Will Stevens were two on the F1 grid last year.
Pedro Piquet won the Toyota Racing Series (TRS) this season; his famous father, Nelson Piquet, shows his approval.Picture/Simon Chapman.
Development drivers for Williams, Ferrari and Force India teams have also seen the TRS as a necessary path in their careers.
Other names from the TRS populate GP2, GP3, F3 and many other categories.
The Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona sported five Kiwi drivers on the grid, and all except Scott Dixon are TRS alumni. The winning car of that event had a past TRS driver, Brazilian Pipo Derani, as one of its drivers and last year’s TRS champion, Lance Stroll, sharing a car with the first winner of a TRS race, Kiwi Brendon Hartley, came home in fifth place.
No wonder then, that the TRS in New Zealand has the most impressive line-up of cups and trophies to be assembled for one series in this country.
Many of these historic trophies hark back to the days when Formula 1 drivers came to Australasia for the summer racing season.
The 2016 TRS season started at the Mike Pero Motorsport Park, Ruapuna Raceway, in Christchurch and the Lady Wigram Trophy was the magnificent prize for the main race.
Originating in 1949, 30,000 people watched the first Lady Wigram Trophy event at the Wigram Air Base, said to be the first road race in NZ. It was won by Morrie Proctor from Wellington at an average speed of 105.68km/h.
Since then, like many of the trophies, the names of the great and good of motorsport appear regularly.
The names of Moss, Stewart, Clark, McLaren, Brabham, Amon, Hill, Rindt and Surtees are among those on these magnificent trophies.
Round three of the TRS 2016 was at Hampton Downs and the main trophy of the weekend was the New Zealand Motor Cup.
Owned by the New Zealand International Grand Prix (NZIGP), the cup is heavy, tiered and silver and has the names of past winners on shields around the base.
It was originally awarded to the winner of the Australasian Beach Championship in 1921 and was won in 1928 by R.B. Wilson of Wilson & Horton and the New Zealand Herald newspaper fame.
Wilson donated the cup to the NZIGP, where it has since collected the wonderful names of the past, including our own legend Ken Smith.
Another famous name was added to the list of winners last weekend. This time it is Pedro Piquet, son of three-time F1 World Champion Nelson Piquet.
At Taupo this weekend the TRS drivers will be competing for the Denny Hulme Memorial Trophy.
Another historic trophy that was awarded to Denny for winning the 1974 Argentine F1 Grand Prix, his last F1 win.
It is a trophy, like those above, with substance, with history, with heritage and above all deserving of that indeterminate thing called mana.
* Driven apologises for a mistake in last weekend’s Bob McMurray column that should have read Nelson Piquet Junior was involved in a Singapore F1 incident.