Young Kiwis still hoping to grab last-minute Toyota Racing seats
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At least three Kiwi drivers are trying to put together and 11th hour bid to compete in this summer's Toyota Racing Series starting next month.
Pukekohe's Taylor Cockerton, who ran a full campaign in 2017, as well as promising Toyota 86 drivers Tom Alexander and Ryan Yardley are all working on getting a budget together to compete in the country's leading race category.
Cockerton would seem the most like of the three to get something over the line but he admits time is fast running out with the first round in mid-January.
"I would probably give it about 60 or 70 percent at the moment," Cockerton told The Herald.
"I am still really hopeful that we can pull something together.
"We are working with a few potential sponsors that are sort of on the fence at the moment about whether they want to come on board with us for the season and hopefully when I go overseas to Asia next year.
"It is getting close to crunch time so we should know whether we can within the next couple of weeks or so.
"It is the sort of thing that they could snap up right towards the end – it could be a week out. It has happened before with other drivers.
"The ball is in their court so we just have on the decision."
Alexander is highly rated as a driver and would be competitive should he find the budget to run fulltime. He admits it is looking unlikely.
"I have grown up watching this series with the likes of Brendon [Hartley] and Earl [Bamber]," he said. "It is something I have wanted to do – I did Formula Ford for a couple of years so the natural progression was to do TRS but I couldn't afford so we ran Toyota 86s.
"We are a bit away off still. We are probably a third of the way there and it is getting close now so finding that last two thirds is where it becomes a lot trickier."
Yardley is understood to be in a similar boat to Alexander.
There is the potential for drivers to combine their resources and share a car across the five-week series.
"I think there is definitely potential for that to happen," Cockerton said. "We would have to talk to Toyota and see where they stand on that.
"I would love to do the first round at Ruapuna because that is probably my best track and have had the best results there.
"Because it is the first round you would still be on a level playing field with everyone else wouldn't have had any running before me.
"If we were going to do it we would probably do it for round one. At the moment we are still hoping to crack the whole series though."
- NZ Herald