Toyota NZ commits support to Kiwi motorsport amid Covid-19
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In the midst of the global Covid-19 pandemic, Toyota New Zealand has confirmed its position to continue supporting local motorsport; specifically the Toyota Racing Series and Toyota 86 Championship.
In an open letter, Toyota New Zealand CEO Alistair Davis [pictured below] announced the intentions while acknowleding the important role esports has played during the crisis and the role motorsport has always played in Toyota's long history.
"At its foundation, Toyota Gazoo Racing embodies Toyota’s commitment to make 'ever-better' cars. Toyota has a rich history in Motorsport that dates back more than 60 years; we are always looking to the future seeking new ways to innovate and forge new technologies," he said.
"Toyota Gazoo Racing New Zealand is committed to developing and nurturing the next generation of world-class kiwi drivers. We do that with the latest innovations in motorsport engineering, technology and safety features and by creating race series that provide great developmental opportunities and fierce competition for the best young drivers that New Zealand and the world have to offer.
"Such is the calibre of competition that many of our previous Toyota Racing Series competitors have gone on to compete all over the world, including sixteen that went on to Formula 1. That is what we are about — finding New Zealand’s next world champion.
"With an enthusiastic fan base, motorsport will remain in New Zealand for a long time, and we will continue to support it through our two championships. We look forward to the upcoming seasons of both the Toyota Racing Series, and the Toyota 86 Championship, as they enter their 17th and 7th season respectively."
The Toyota Racing Series finds itself in the unique position of being one of the few open-wheel championships globally to have run its calendar without a hitch, having finished up before the Covid-19 pandemic. The series also involved the debuting of a new platform, the FT-60, and the return to Pukekohe Park.
Its next season is expected to kick off next January, with the question now being how many international drivers will be able to compete in the series given the world's varying travel restrictions and changes that may still come into action later in the year.
The Toyota 86 Championship, meanwhile, has the final two rounds of its 2019-'20 season (held at Hampton Downs Motorsport Park and Pukekohe Park) in limbo, following the postponement of the Speed Works Events motorsport calendar.