The fantastic news that Thomas Randle secured a full time ride in the Australian Supercars Championship highlighted the often diverse background that drivers have when they reach the pinnacle of Australian motorsport – a journey that can often include single seaters.
There have been many top guns in the category over the years who have enjoyed success in single seaters. Craig Lowndes and James Courtney were two drivers of note, while current championship leader Shane van Gisbergen is a Castrol Toyota Racing Series graduate.
He showed some very transferable skills earlier this year when he dominated the New Zealand Grand Prix meeting aboard his Red Bull Toyota FT-60 before heading home to begin a dominant opening run in the 2021 Supercars Championship. André Heimgartner, Scott Pye, Chris Pither and Macauley Jones are also graduates of the TRS championship.
An often overlooked fact – and one that is interesting for drivers looking for a regional ‘route’ to get into the Supercar series – is that the Castrol Toyota Racing Series is one of the highest ‘earners’ among single seater categories available to drivers when it comes to securing enough Super Licence points to race in the Supercars Championship.
There are no less than 10 Super Licence points available to the championship winner and that’s more than double the points of any other domestic New Zealand championship and on a par with the very popular and high profile Porsche Carrera Cup, TCR and Super 3 series in Australia.
Eight points are up for grabs for second, seven for third and so on with the top nine all getting points that can go towards a Supercars racing licence.
There are a few more criteria to fill under the new licence regulations released this week by Motorsport Australia but Category Manager Nico Caillol reckons a season in Castrol TRS as part of the build up to competing in Supercars is a very sensible option, and Randle’s success proves it.
“People don’t realise just how much there is to gain from TRS if they are looking at a Supercars career,” he explained.
“With 13 Super Licence points required to make the jump into the Supercars Championship, the 10 points on offer from that trip to New Zealand for a COVID 19-free racing season is an attractive proposition. From a timing point of view the TRS Championship also slots in neatly between Supercars seasons as well.
“It offers back-to back race weekends and thousands of kilometres of testing and racing in a factory-supported environment with professional teams. For the level of professionalism, value for money and intensity of competition involved, it is also world class.
“Points secured for the top nine are held ‘on account’ so to speak for five years so there is plenty of time to do a season in TRS and carry points forward into other Australian categories as a driver builds towards a Supercars career.”